The Sacrament of Confirmation
The Sacrament of Confirmation is like Baptism Part Two.
This sacrament gives us the fullness of the Holy Spirit. In Confirmation, as in Baptism, we receive sanctifying grace, which is the gift of God, given to us without our earning it, that unites us with the life of the Trinity and heals our human nature which is wounded by sin. Through Confirmation our relationship with God is strengthened because we are sealed with the gift of the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the use of His gifts and fruits. These gifts are a permanent willingness that makes it possible for us to do what God asks of us. Through Confirmation, our bond with Jesus is made stronger so that we can better witness to Christ. In Confirmation, the Holy Spirit strengthens our life of faith. Like Baptism, the Sacrament of Confirmation can only be received once because it imparts an indelible mark on one’s soul.
Unlike infant Baptism where the parents of the newly baptised take on the responsibility of passing on the gift of faith, the one being confirmed now accepts the faith for himself. With this acceptance of the faith, one becomes fully initiated into the Church and receives the Gift of the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s mission. As Baptism makes us children of God, so Confirmation makes us Soldiers of Christ. Thus, it is our duty to defend and protect the faith.
The Sacrament of Confirmation produces the following effects:
1. It imparts an indelible mark on the soul (making us Soldiers of Christ).
2. The sacrament roots us in Divine Sonship.
3. Confirmation unites us to Christ.
4. It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us and gives us the strength of the Spirit to spread the faith.
The signs of the Sacrament of Confirmation are the laying on of hands by the bishop and the anointing with the Oil of Sacred Chrism. A bishop is the usual celebrant of the Sacrament of Confirmation. When administering the sacrament, the bishop first extends his hands over those to be confirmed and calls on God saying, “Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide.” The Holy Spirit helps us to believe, pray, love, and perform good deeds. After the bishop calls upon God, each person being confirmed is anointed with the Oil of Sacred Chrism on the forehead by the bishop as he says, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Baptism makes you a part of the Church; whereas, Confirmation calls you to take on more responsibility as a Church member. Through Confirmation, you are called to show Jesus’ presence by participating more fully in the mission of the Church and by working for justice and peace (being a Soldier of Christ).