St. Mary's Catholic Church

St. Mary's Catholic Church

Sacrament of Confirmation

What is Confirmation?                                   

Confirmation is a sacrament that completes (i.e., perfects, increases, deepens) the “sanctifying grace” we received at baptism. It Increases within us the gifts of the Holy Spirit:  wisdom, understanding, right judgment (counsel), fortitude (courage),  knowledge, reverence (piety),  and fear of the Lord (fear in God’s presence). It strengthens our bond with the Church; gives us a special strength (power) to spread and defend the faith by word and action and to confess the name of Christ boldly.   Finally, it imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, which is a sign of belonging to Christ, an enrollment in Christ’s service forever, and a promise of divine protection in the great eschatological trial.  The imparting of this special strength (or gift) is signified by the laying on of hands (by the bishop or a delegated priest) and the anointing with oil (Sacred Chrism) and the words: “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit”

Who Can Receive this Sacrament?     

Every baptized person not yet confirmed can receive this sacrament.  The age of reason is the reference point for receiving Confirmation in the Latin Rite. In the Diocese of Salina candidates must be in seventh through the twelfth grade. In danger of death,  children should be confirmed even if they have not yet attained the age of discretion. Children involved in RCIA receive Confirmation in accord with that process. One must be in a state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, profess the faith,  be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, and should receive the sacrament of Penance prior to receiving the Sacrament.

The Minister of Confirmation

The ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop. If the need arises, the bishop may grant the faculty of administering Confirmation to priests. If a Christian is in danger of death, any priest can give him Confirmation.

pdf Overview of the Sacrament of Confirmation (496 KB)

Confirmation Preparation

Requirements

  • Parents and pastors are to see that those to be confirmed are properly instructed.
  • One goal of Confirmation preparation is for the students to gain an appreciation for the Catholic faith. A student may not know everything about the Catholic faith at the end of the preparation time, but should be committed to know, live, and defend the Catholic faith. Confirmation is not the end, but a new beginning. It is not a graduation from faith formation. With new strength and more grace available, a new life of faith begins--challenging, but rewarding.
  • In preparation to receive the Sacrament candidates must: (1) choose a sponsor,  (2) choose a Confirmation saint and write a report on the saint chosen,  (3) participate in a Confirmation retreat, (4) be involved in service projects during the preparation time,  and (5) write a letter to bishop requesting to receive sacrament and reasons for the request.     

 Sponsors

  • As far as possible the person to be confirmed is to have a sponsor.  The sponsor's function is to take care that the person confirmed behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the duties inherent in this sacrament (Can. 892).
  • A sponsor must be not less than sixteen years of age, be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken (Can. 893.1, 874).
  • It is desirable that the sponsor chosen be the one who undertook this role at baptism (Can. 893.2).