At confirmation we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and confirm our baptismal promises. 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.
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 renew our baptismal promises and 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. Youth may do their preparation in a Catholic School, in the parish religious education program, or at home with an approved Catholic Confirmation preparation text. 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 a mandatory parent/candidate meeting
- Assisting with retreat
- 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 and get bulletins signed by the priest *to be handed in to the DRE
- Participate in a Rite of Welcome during Eucharistic devotions
- Receive the Sacrament of Penance sometime in the weeks before Confirmation
- Develop and maintain a prayer life
- Participate regularly 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 or word of Christian significance, such as Abraham or Ruth (Old Testament figures); Faith or Hope, etc.
- Attend a Confirmation retreat * an overnight retreat at Gretna Glen Camp and Retreat Center
- Prepare for and attend a Confirmation interview with the pastor or DRE