The Sacrament of Confirmation bestows special graces of the Holy Spirit upon the person being Confirmed. The Holy Spirit is first introduced to the individual at Baptism. During Confirmation the Holy Spirit descends upon the person together with God the Father and God the Son just as it descended upon the Apostles on Pentecost.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists five effects of Confirmation:
1. It roots us more deeply in the divine filiation [as sons of God] which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!”;
2. It unites us more firmly to Christ;
3. It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
4. It renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
5. It gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.
The ceremony may take place at Mass or outside of Mass, and the bishop wears red vestments to symbolize the red tongues of fire seen hovering over the heads of the apostles at Pentecost. The following occurs during the Sacrament of Confirmation:
Each individual to be confirmed comes forward with his sponsor.
At Baptism, the parents choose the godfather and godmother; for Confirmation, the canidate picks their own sponsor. The same requirements for being a godparent in Baptism apply for sponsors at Confirmation. The sponsor can be the godmother or godfather if they’re still practicing Catholics, or they may choose someone else (other than their parents) who’s over the age of 16, already confirmed, and in good standing with the Church. One sponsor is chosen for Confirmation.
Each canadate selects their own Confirmation name.
At baptism the name was chosen without the child’s consent because the child was too little to make the selection alone. In Confirmation, the canidate chooses the name of one of the canonized saints of the Church.
The Catholic being confirmed stands or kneels before the bishop, and the sponsor lays one hand on the shoulder of the one being confirmed. The Confirmation name is spoken, and the bishop puts Chrism Oil on the person’s forehead, says his name aloud, and then says, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The person responds, “Amen.” The bishop then says, “Peace be with you.” And the person responds, “And with your spirit.”
If you are interested in being confirmed or for more information please contact the parish office at 219 980-9348.