Sacrament of Confirmation

Overview

By a signing with the gift of the Spirit, confirmation enriches the baptized with the Holy Spirit, binding them more perfectly to the Church, and strengthening them in their witness to Christ by word and deed and in their work to bring to its fullness the Body of Christ.

Confirmation is one of the sacraments of initiation, along with Baptism and Eucharist. While baptism is the sacrament of rebirth to a new and supernatural life, confirmation is the sacrament of maturity and coming of age. It is conferred by the anointing of Chrism oil and the laying on of hands by the Bishop. The Sacrament of Confirmation draws us into a greater awareness of the Holy Spirit, which we received at Baptism. Through this sacrament, we confirm the presence of the baptismal gifts we have already received; we are sealed with the undeserved and unearned gift of the Holy Spirit.

Confirmation At Saint Anthony

Preparation for Confirmation is a two-year process; beginning in the fall of freshmen year.  As a 9th grader, students embark on a wonderful phase in their life as a Catholic Christian.  This portion of the faith journey will culminate with the reception of Confirmation in the spring of their sophomore year.

The primary aim of our program is to assist candidates during the preparation process to deepen their personal relationship with God through daily prayer and weekly participation in the Eucharist.  As well as, to develop a sense of faith which will enable each candidate to live out a Catholic Christian life.

Components of the Confirmation Program:

1.    Community

It is important for each candidate to develop a sense of belonging to the Catholic Church, which is specifically visible in the St. Anthony Parish Community. It is the responsibility, then, of the parish to support the candidates as they journey through the Confirmation process.  Therefore, all students, whether attending public, private, or Catholic schools must attend the parish program in order to receive the sacrament of Confirmation at St. Anthony. It is equally important for each candidate to recognize and be open to the Holy Spirit’s call to serve others in the community.

2.    Message

As a candidate for Confirmation, they will study the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Through the use of multi-media programs, such as Decision Point, candidates will deepen their understanding of the Bible, Sacraments, and Prayer.  It is our hope that through the study of our Catholic faith and participation in prayer, a solid personal relationship with Jesus Christ will emerge.

3.    Worship

Participation in Sunday Mass and all special Mass’ unique to the Confirmation process is expected.  Prayer and reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation is also expected.

4.    Service

Modeling Jesus’ life of service as a way of life is the goal of the Confirmation candidate.  The emphasis on service is not supposed to be on the number of hours a candidate is required to do during the preparation period, but rather on the awareness of each candidates personal, lifelong, responsibility in this area.

Recognizing that parents are the primary religious educators of their children; parents are asked to support their candidate as he or she journeys through the Confirmation Preparation Process.  Besides providing for instruction in the Catholic faith for their child, they are asked to pray with and for their child, to participate in the celebration of Mass and when asked, attend all “general sessions” with their child.  Consequently, a candidate’s journey through the preparation process offers parents a unique opportunity to be open to a renewed growth in their own faith and spirituality; especially if a parent chooses to use the Decision Point Catholic App.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Confirmation (1315-1321)

“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:14-17).

Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.

Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian’s soul; for this reason one can receive this sacrament only once in one’s life.

In the East this sacrament is administered immediately after Baptism and is followed by participation in the Eucharist; this tradition highlights the unity of the three sacraments of Christian initiation. In the Latin Church this sacrament is administered when the age of reason has been reached, and its celebration is ordinarily reserved to the bishop, thus signifying that this sacrament strengthens the ecclesial bond.

A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.

The essential rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead of the baptized with sacred chrism (in the East other sense-organs as well), together with the laying on of the minister’s hand and the words: “Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti” (Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit) in the Roman rite, or “Signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti” (the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit) in the Byzantine rite.

When Confirmation is celebrated separately from Baptism, its connection with Baptism is expressed, among other ways, by the renewal of baptismal promises. The celebration of Confirmation during the Eucharist helps underline the unity of the sacraments of Christian initiation.