Baptism and Confirmation could be considered, in light of their origins and history, one sacrament. Confirmation, which comprises the post-baptismal rites of anointing, the laying on of hands, and the words, “Be sealed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit,” is ratification, or sealing, of Baptism. For those who were baptized as infants, Confirmation provides an opportunity to ratify freely and deliberately what was done for them at Baptism. It helps to focus their minds and the minds of the whole community on the essential missionary dimension of the baptismal commitment.
—From Catholicism, by Richard P. McBrien. Revised and Updated. HarperSanFrancisco: San Francisco, 1993
The Effects of Confirmation
It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1302) From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
• It roots us more deeply in the divine filiations which make us cry, “Abba! Father”, (Rom 8:15)
• It unites us more firmly to Christ;
• It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
• It renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
• 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…(CCC, 1303).
Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the “character,” which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of the Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness (CCC, 1304).
Who Can Receive this Sacrament?
Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should receive the sacrament of Confirmation (Code of Canon Law, can. 889.1) Since Baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist form a unity, it follows that’ the faithful are obligated to receive this sacrament at the appropriate time (CIC, can 890)”, for without Confirmation and Eucharist, Baptism is certainly valid and efficacious, but Christian initiation remains incomplete. (CCC, 1306) (Note: Adults who have not received yet the sacraments of Confirmation and/ or Eucharist should see the RCIA section of this web page.) . Preparation for confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit–his actions, his gifts, and responsibilities of the Christian life. To this end, catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. That latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands. (CCC, 1309). To receive confirmation one must be in a state of grace. One should receive the sacrament of Penance in order to be cleansed for the gift of the Holy Spirit. More intense prayer should prepare one to receive the strength and graces of the Holy Spirit with docility and readiness to act (CCC, 1310). Candidates for Confirmation, as for Baptism, fittingly see the spiritual help of a sponsor. To emphasize the unity of the two sacraments, it is appropriate that this be one of the baptismal godparents (CCC, 1311).
How do we Celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in our Parish?
Young people, ages 12 thru 19, are prepared for this sacrament in a two-year program. For more information contact one of the Priests or call us at (507) 437-4537.
WHAT IS THE RCIA? The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a spiritual journey to find out whether one is being called to a life as a Catholic Christian. The journey is marked by landmarks of rites along the way that help each person to discover where it is that God is leading them.
Are you interested/curious about our Catholic Faith?
Do you know someone who has expressed an interest in our Catholic Faith?
Have you thought about becoming a Catholic?
Have you always wanted to complete your sacraments of Initiation through the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation?
If you want to experience the joy of the lord in the Catholic church, we invite you to please come and speak with us.
Please contact one of the Priests or call us at (507) 437-4537.
Fr. James P. Steffes
St. Augustine / St. Edward
St. Augustine / St. Edward
Director of Catechesis
St. Augustine / St. Edward
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH – 1285
‘Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the “sacraments of Christian initiation,” whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For “by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.”‘
CCC 1285 by USCCB.org
CANON LAW 879 – TITLE II: CONFIRMATION
“The sacrament of confirmation confers a character. By it the baptized continue their path of Christian initiation. They are enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and are more closely linked to the Church. They are made strong and more firmly obliged by word and deed to witness to Christ and to spread and defend the faith. “
Canon Law Title II Can. 879
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: CONFIRMATION
“A sacrament in which the Holy Ghost is given to those already baptized in order to make them strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.”