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Transcript of Confirmation Resource
Our faith is nourished through the Eucharist
We share in the Body and Blood of Christ with the whole Church community
Let's review the
Sacraments of Initiation
We profess for ourselves the faith our parents accepted for us at Baptism
Well, it's one of the Catholic Church's
Our parents promise to raise us in the Catholic faith, and we become part of God's family
We become part of the Church through Baptism
It's one of the three
Sacraments of Initiation
The bishop will dip his thumb into the Oil of Chrism and make the Sign of the Cross on your forehead.
He will say “*Name*, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and you say “Amen”
Oil of Chrism is a special perfumed oil that is blessed every year by the Bishops at the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass. It's made of olive or vegetable oil and perfumed with balsam, and is used to consecrate church altars, as well as during the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders.
You kneel in front of the Bishop with your sponsor standing behind you
The Confirmation Rite
Symbols of Confirmation
(the other two are Baptism and Eucharist)
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He’ll say “Peace be with you” – he might also tap your cheek gently.
Don’t hit him back, just say “And with your spirit”"
Sydney Archdiocese Unit 6.4
celebrating the gift of the
there are two main ones:
Confirmation deepens and strengthens the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we receive through Baptism. It:
reinforces our position as children of God
connects us more firmly to Christ
increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit within us
strengthens our bond with the Church
strengthens our Christian witness
* Sacrament: a ritual action through which God bestows His grace onto humanity; the work of God made visible to human eyes; a visible sign of invisible grace
seven sacraments *
which allows a more effective use of spatial relativity to convey meaning.
Confirmation is always celebrated by the Bishop of the diocese,
(or an Archbishop or a Cardinal)
are the local leaders of the Church
are the successors of Christ's apostles and have received the most full form of the sacrament of Holy Orders. The Apostles began the practice of Confirmation and so the Bishops, as their successors, continue it.
By celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation themselves, they show that one of the purposes of Confirmation is to join its recipients more closely to the Church and to Christ.
This is because
Just like Baptism, the sacrament of Confirmation gives an indelible character to its recipients - this is why you can only be Confirmed once.
"Indelible" means "unable to be removed" - like the indelible ink in a permanent marker.
The character given at Confirmation marks recipients permanently and spiritually as people of Christ.
It enables us to live more completely with the mission of Jesus Christ.
Confirmation also gives us the sacramental grace to live our faith loyally and profess it bravely.
You are strengthened in the Spirit to fulfil the roles of:
priests who interecede with prayer for others
prophets who are unafraid to stand up and speak out for God, especially when it's an unpopular stance
kings, who are nothing less than the children of God Almighty.
Gifts of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is...
The most important effect of Confirmation is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the recipient, just like the Apostles at Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit is often symbolised with wind or flame.
Two words used to explain the Holy Spirit are "pneuma", which means "breath" in Greek, and "ruach", which means "wind" in Hebrew. These words are used because, like the Holy Spirit, they are things that we cannot see, but that we know exist.
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses"
the Laying on of Hands
the Anointing with the Oil of Chrism
Confirmation happens as part of a Mass. The ritual comes after the bishop's homily, which will explain the readings (these will relate to the sacrament).
Why do we celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation?
so what is it anyway?
Wonder and Awe in God's Presence
Why the oil?
The commitment made in Baptism is "completed" through Confirmation
helps us to make the right choices to live a Christ-like life. It helps us avoid things that could lead us away from God, and to understand God's plan for us and the world.
helps us stand up for what we believe in, and especially to stand up and defend our faith. It helps us to walk in the world as believers.
helps us to know ourselves and the world we live in, and to know what our faith and our Church is about.
helps us comprehend things, and let Church teaching have a place in our lives. It helps us to have sympathy for others and to deal with our problems.
helps us to make choices that we feel comfortable with and that are based on Christ's teachings.
helps us to see God in everything around us, and to honour God through our words and actions.
keeps us awestruck by the glory and wonder of God in our lives. It helps us to put God first and to love Him.
assisted by the parish priest/s
The word "confirmation" comes from the Latin word "confirmare", which means to strengthen, reinforce, encourage and secure
So what actually happens during the ceremony?
one of the three persons of the Blessed Trinity
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins,
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father,
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
For us men and for our salvation,
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary
and became man.
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father,
through Him all things were made.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
Oil is used for many purposes:
it can be used to heal injuries such as bruises and muscle pain; it can be burned to provide a source of light; it is cleansing; it's a sign of plenty and of joy.
Why is it perfumed?
Anointing is an ancient symbol of being called and strengthened: from Old Testament times, priests, prophets and kings were all anointed to show they had been chosen by God.
The anointing on your forehead and the Bishop's words seal you with the Holy Spirit and confer the sacrament of Confirmation upon you - this is the essential part of the ritual.
Why do people wear perfume or cologne? To make a good impression on others. In the same way, the Oil of Chrism is perfumed because we are called to spread the Good News of Christ everywhere, like a sweet smell (2 Corinthians 2:14b-15)
The Bishop will extend his hands over all the candidates for Confirmation at the start of the Rite as he prays for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. You can find the words of this prayer in the Rite.
The laying on of hands has been part of Confirmation since the days of the Apostles. The Bishop performs the laying on of hands as a symbol of calling down the Holy Spirit. It symbolises being called to do God's work, and is sometimes used to symbolise a blessing. It also happens during the Anointing of the Sick, over priests when they are ordained, and over the bread and wine when they are consecrated during the Mass.
The laying on of hands happens twice in the Confirmation Rite.
The Bishop may also lay hands on each candidate individually as he anoints them. This is both a gesture of calling the Holy Spirit into that candidate, and as a gesture of sending forth.
You can read the revised (new translation) version of the Confirmation Rite in hard copy in the Roman Missal, 3rd Edition. This is a quick summary of the Rite.
The Anointing with Chrism
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
The Laying on of Hands
(cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr
Presentation of the Candidates
After the Gospel, the candidates for Confirmation are presented by a priest, deacon or catechist of the parish. If there is a large group of candidates, they simply move to stand in the sanctuary in front of the bishop; if the group of candidates is small, they are called by name before moving to the sanctuary.
The bishop gives a brief homily, exploring the readings and explaining the sacrament of Confirmation to the candidates. He may also quiz the candidates on their understanding of the faith.
The Bishop will ask all the candidates to stand and profess their faith, by questioning them using the interrogative form of the Nicene Creed. The response is "I do". This is to emphasise the link between Baptism and Confirmation.
The Bishop will pray "My dear friends: in Baptism God our Father gave the new birth of eternal life to his chosen sons and daughters. Let us pray to our Father that he will pour out the Holy Spirit to strengthen his sons and daughters with his gifts and anoint them to be more like Christ the Son of God."
He then extends his hands over the candidates and prays "All powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The deacon brings the Chrism to the Bishop. Each candidate in turn goes to the Bishop with their sponsor. The sponsor gives the candidate's name to the Bishop and places their right hand on the candidate's shoulder.
The Bishop dips his right thumb in the Chrism and makes the Sign of the Cross on the candidate's forehead, saying "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit".
What are the spiritual Effects of Confirmation?
At Pentecost, when the disciples were sitting together in one room, they had already been baptised and received the Holy Spirit - however they were full of fear after Jesus' death.
It was not until they received the gifts of the Holy Spirit through tongues of flame at Pentecost that they were filled with courage and empowered to go out and spread the Gospel to all people.
Why are you anointed with a cross on your forehead? To remind you that a Confirmed Christian must be ready to profess their faith openly.
Why do you have a sponsor? To support you, like a mentor, as you prepare for Confirmation. They could be a godparent, uncle / aunt / cousin, etc. They must be over 16, a fully initiated and practising Catholic, and willing to support and pray for you.
Why might the Bishop hit you gently? Confirmed Catholics used to be called "Soldiers of Christ", and the tap was to remind you that you are called to endure anything, even pain or death, for your faith.