Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus healed and restored all who were in bondage. The restoration was always a complete one – covering body, mind and spirit. Jesus often identified His ministerial activity as something that was enabled in Him by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.” Luke 24: 49 – “Stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”)
Today, the same Holy Spirit that guided Jesus works within the Church, guiding and directing the baptized in the way of God’s kingdom.
The Rite of Confirmation
Ordinarily, the sacrament of Confirmation takes place within the Mass and is usually administered by a bishop. However he may ask the Parish Priest to confer the sacrament
After the homily, the bishop invites the candidates to renew their baptismal promises (the same promises that were made on their behalf by their parents and godparents at their baptism, but now renewed in their own name and from their own faith conviction). The bishop then confirms what they have promised by proclaiming, “This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Then the bishop extends his hands over the candidates and invokes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit through a powerful prayer. The bishop then lays his hands on each candidate’s head, anoints them with chrism oil on the forehead, pronounces each person’s name and says, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The sign of peace concludes the ritual and the Eucharist continues in the normal way.
Confirmation, once received, may never be repeated.
The Effects of Confirmation
The sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.
- Increases and deepens the roots of grace that we first experienced at baptism
- Unites us more firmly to Jesus
- Increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us
- Makes our bond with the Church more perfect
- Gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Jesus, to confess His name boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross
Did you know?
Here’s Fr. Dave Dwyer on why we receive the sacrament of Confirmation, in this edition of “Sacraments 101” – a web video series geared for those who’d like an introduction or refresher course on these important, tangible Catholic experiences of God.