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.