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Sacrament of Confirmation

The following explains confirmation in general, which applies to both Adult confirmation candidates and Student confirmation candidates. Adult confirmations usually coincide with the RCIA schedule and student confirmations will take place in the early Fall of their 9th grade year.

Acts 8:14-17 "Now, when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them: but they were only baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them: and they received the Holy Ghost.

Ephesians 4:30 "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God: whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption."

First, what is Confirmation (also called "Chrismation")? What does Confirmation do?

Confirmation:

  • indelibly seals us to the Holy Ghost, hence its name, "Sacrament of the Seal." Because this seal is indelible and leaves a permanent mark on the recipient's soul, the Sacrament, like Baptism and Holy Orders, may be received only once.
  • gives us the sanctifying grace to become perfect Christians and true soldiers of Christ, well-armed to defend Christ as King, His Mother as Queen, and the Church Militant as His Kingdom on earth. God confirms us (strengthens us) so we may do spiritual battle.
  • imparts to us the 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost, as in a "personal Pentecost":
    • Wisdom
    • Understanding
    • Counsel
    • Fortitude
    • Knowledge
    • Piety
    • Fear of the Lord

The Sacrament may only be received by one who is baptized, preferably while he is in a state of grace (i.e., not in a state of mortal sin). If it is received when the recipient is not in a state of grace, it is illicilty but still validly received; the fruits of the Sacrament will be delayed until he receives Penance. In addition, if the confirmand (the one to be confirmed) has reached the age of reason, he/she should be well-catechized.

The form of the Sacrament is:

As in Baptism, a sponsor is chosen to stand for the confirmand. The sponsor should be a baptized and confirmed Catholic who's at least 14 years old, is of the same sex as the confirmand, and is well-instructed in the Faith. Also as in Baptism, among those who may not act as sponsors are: members of religious orders, spouses in respect to each other, parents in respect to their own children, infidels, heretics, members of condemned secret societies, and public sinners. The 1917 Code of Canon Law excludes godparents from being sponsors except in cases of emergency, but the 1983 Code of Canon Law recommends the opposite practice: that the godparent should act as sponsor at Confirmation if at all possible in order to better tie Baptism and Confirmation together.

In any case, just as Abram became Abraham, as Jacob became Israel, as Simon became Peter, and as Saul became Paul, the confirmand takes on the name of a Saint when he is sealed to the Holy Spirit. This isn't necessary for the sake of validity, but it is the traditional practice of the Church. Read the lives of the Saints and choose your patron well!

CONFIRMATION CANDIDATES (8th & 9th GRADE CCD STUDENTS):

Confirmation usually takes place in the Fall of the children’s ninth grade year, after seventh and eighth grade CCD preparation. Parents will be notified by mail regarding confirmation practices and other important dates. Throughout the eighth grade CCD year students will be given a variety of forms pertinent for confirmation these forms need to be returned to the CCD office or the child’s CCD Teacher prior to their confirmation.