At Confirmation we receive full outpouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit particular to this sacrament. The Holy Spirit confirms our baptismal vocation, and gives us the charisms and graces to live our faith with maturity and courage. Greater awareness of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conferred through the anointing of chrism oil and the laying on of hands by the Bishop, the successor of the Apostles and visible sign of the unity of the diocese and the universal church.
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. (CCC 1316)
Through the Sacrament of Confirmation we commit to living a life of maturity in the Christian faith. As we read in the Lumen Gentium (the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church) from the Second Vatican Council:
Bound more intimately to the Church by the sacrament of confirmation, [the baptized] are endowed by the Holy Spirit with special strength; hence they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith both by word and by deed as true witnesses of Christ. (no. 11)
Preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation is a two-year process that begins in Grade 7. Students may do their preparation in the Catholic School, in the parish religious education program, or at home with an approved Catholic Confirmation preparation text (with approval of the pastor). Due to the importance of this final sacrament of initiation, students must attend class on a regular basis in both Grade 7 and Grade 8.
Students study the life of Jesus and of the Church in Grade 7, and in Grade 8, they focus more intensely on the sacrament of Confirmation.
Parents play an integral role in the preparation for Confirmation. It is essential that they share their faith with their children and so be an example of living out their Catholic identity.
Parental aspects of the Confirmation preparation process include:
- Bringing their child to Mass on weekends and all Holy Days of Obligation
- Participation with their child in a Rite of Welcome during Eucharistic devotions
- Assuring their child’s regular attendance at class
- Developing their own prayer life and sharing that life with their child
- Receiving the sacrament of Penance on a regular basis
- Attendance at mandatory parent meetings
- Assisting with retreats
- Guiding their child in selecting a sponsor and Confirmation name
- Reviewing the saint report/project
- Supporting their child in completing service projects and a service journal
- Completing all paperwork on time
- Bringing their child to the Confirmation interview
Youth to be confirmed are expected to:
- Attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation
- Participate in liturgical rites associated with Confirmation (such as the Rite of Welcome) as scheduled
- Receive the Sacrament of Penance sometime in the weeks before Confirmation
- Develop and maintain a prayer life
- Participate actively and fully in class
- Complete service hours and journal, a saint report/project, and any class assignments
- Choose carefully a sponsor and a Confirmation name (based on the saint report/project). Candidates may choose instead of a saint name a name of biblical significance (such as Joshua, Sarah, or Ruth from the Old Testament) or Christian virtue (such as Faith, Hope, Charity), etc.
- Attend a Confirmation retreat as explained during Confirmation meetings
- Prepare for and attend a Confirmation interview with the pastor