Symbols of Confirmation XBy Carole Ellis, eHow Contributor Symbols of ConfirmationIn many Christian denominations, Confirmation is the ceremony or ritual during which childrenpublicly announce their personal decision to follow God. Baptism at or shortly after birth isviewed as the parents laying claim to salvation for their children, while Confirmation allowsyoung teens and sometimes preteens to make this assertion of faith for themselves. Symbols ofconfirmation vary from denomination to denomination, but the Catholic faith in particular has avery strict set of rituals and symbols that accompany this milestone in a young persons faith.Other People Are Reading1.History o Historically, confirmation has been the time when the Holy Ghost was "given" to those who were already baptized. This was to make them "soldiers of Christ," and was a self-aware, conscious decision made by the person being confirmed. As the Christian religion has changed over time, the ritual has, in some denominations, become less specific about exactly what is going on while one is being confirmed. Some churches still view it as an anointing of the Holy Spirit, while others believe it is a more general declaration of faith.Function o Confirmation symbols are the rites that are performed during the confirmation ritual. These symbols are the "laying on" or "imposition" of hands, which means that a religious figure--usually a bishop, priest or minister--physically touches those being confirmed. During this time, all pray for guidance from God or the Holy Spirit. This
symbol is followed by anointing with a chrism--a blessed mixture of olive pil and balsam--which indicates that the Holy Spirit now dwells within the heart of the person who is being confirmed. o Sponsored Links Meaningful Bible Verses Find Daily Quotes, Choose Passages & More with Daily Bible Guide! www.DailyBibleGuide.comFeatures o Depending on the denomination, the symbols of confirmation are performed with more or less ceremony. Less conservative churches may eliminate the anointing all together, and some denominations ask questions to each individual person being confirmed that require them to promise to serve God and keep the Holy Spirit in their hearts. In more traditional services, the bishop or other authority figure will do all the talking and often adhere to a time-honored script.Benefits o Confirmation is an ancient tradition and a valued rite of passage. Older children and teenagers who are confirmed often feel a renewed sense of involvement with their faith and a new sense of responsibility to their church and God. This can help keep teens and young adults involved in the church at a time in their lives when leaving may be very tempting.Effects o Once a person has received the symbols of confirmation, they are considered to have received "additional grace" by the Catholic church. This means that when they were confirmed, they were already in a state of grace and ready to be more blessed by the Holy Spirit. In other denominations, these symbols indicate a readiness to assume greater responsibilities within the bureaucracy of the church or permission to assume new leadership roles in the community or congregation.Misconceptions o Many people think that the symbols of confirmation are laid out in the Bible. However, in truth, even Biblical scholars who wrote the "Catholic Encyclopedia" admit that the ritual as it is performed today is not found anywhere in the Bible. However, there are multiple references to a ceremony performed in addition to baptism that blessed the apostles and others with the Holy Spirit, so there is some foundation for the symbols of confirmation in Biblical texts.