"And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the Spirit of knowledge and of godliness. And He shall be filled with the Spirit of the fear of the Lord.“ Isaiah 11:2-3
CONFIRMATION the Sacrament of Christian maturity Chrismation One of the three sacraments of initiation A celebration of the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit on a baptized person Completes and strengthens the grace given by the spirit in Baptism
CONFIRMATION Imparts a permanent character or seal in the person, marking him or her as belonging totally to Christ and as united to the church A sign of growing in the spirit of Jesus Received only once during the age of discretion 1 Joseph Stoutzenberger; Celebrating Sacraments (St. Mary’s Press, Christian Brothers Publications, 2000) p. 156
CONFIRMATION Biblical Foundation Recipient and Minister Rites Form and Matter Effects Call to Mission
Biblical foundation of theSacrament of Confirmation
Baptism and Confirmation in the New testamentThe New Testament reports manymanifestations of the Holy Spirit after theFather, in the power of the Spirit, raised Jesusfrom the dead. John’s Gospel describes anoutpouring of the Spirit when Jesus breathedon the Apostles and said, “Receive the HolySpirit” (Jn 20:22) and the Acts of the Apostlesgives another account of the Holy Spirit atPentecost, fifty days after the Resurrection.
Biblical Foundation The most important scripture for theunderstanding of the sacrament ofconfirmation is the narrative about Jesusown baptism and anointing by the Spirit, aswell as the Church’s anointing with theSpirit at Pentecost (Acts 2).
Jesus own Baptism and AnointingMark 1:9-10 9 In those days Jesus came fromNazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John inthe Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of thewater, immediately he saw the heavens opened andthe Spirit descending upon him like a dove; 11 and avoice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son;with thee I am well pleased.“The passage shows the relationship between baptismand confirmation. Baptism is fundamental, butConfirmation is necessary for the completion ofbaptismal grace.
Church’s Anointing Acts 2:1-4 1When the day of Pentecost came, theywere all together in one place. 2 Suddenly asound like the blowing of a violent wind camefrom heaven and filled the whole housewhere they were sitting.3 They saw whatseemed to be tongues of fire that separatedand came to rest on each of them. 4 All ofthem were filled with the Holy Spirit andbegan to speak in other tongues as the Spiritenabled them.
Church’s AnointingThe early fathers, the Apostles whereauthorized by the Holy Spirit to performthe sacraments of baptism andconfirmation after the death of Jesus fromthe day they were anointed duringPentecost.
Baptism and Confirmation as separate rites Acts 8:14-17“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it has not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Sprit.”
Baptism and Confirmation as separate ritesConfirmation is clearly seen as a separaterite from Baptism in the incident of theDeacon Philip with his Samaritan converts.Philip baptized them, but the specialreception of the Holy Spirit awaited theadministration of Confirmation by theApostles.
Baptism and Confirmation foretold in the Old testament• The Old Testament foretold that God’s Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to affirm the validity of his mission. Jesus, the Messiah, fulfilled this prophecy when he was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus’ mission began when the Holy Spirit descended on him at his baptism by John the Baptist. From that time he continued his mission in communion with the Spirit. The prophet Joel had prophesied that God would pour out a portion of his Spirit upon all flesh; before Jesus died he promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and to the entire Church.
Baptism and Confirmation foretold in the Old testamentThe prophet Ezekiel foresaw the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that occurs in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation:Ezekiel 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanliness, and for all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.”
MINISTER:"The original minister of Confirmation is the BISHOP." Each bishop is asuccessor to the apostles, upon whom the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost—the first Confirmation. The Acts of the Apostles mentions the apostlesimparting the Holy Spirit to believers by the laying on of hands (see, for example,Acts 8:15-17 and 19:6).A PRIEST can also validly confer this sacrament if he has the faculty to do so,either from the general law or by way of a special grant from the competentauthority
FOLLOWING LAW, THE FACULTY TO ADMINISTER CONFIRMATION:• within the confines of their jurisdiction, those who in law are equivalent to a diocesan Bishop;• in respect of the person to be confirmed, the priest who by virtue of his office or by mandate of the diocesan Bishop baptises an adult or admits a baptised adult into full communion with the catholic Church;• in respect of those in danger of death, the parish priest or indeed any priest.
RECIPIENT:• Every baptised person who is not confirmed, and only such a person, is capable of receiving confirmation.• Apart from the danger of death, to receive confirmation lawfully a person who has the use of reason must be suitably instructed, properly disposed and able to renew the baptismal promises. 2GerardAustin; The Rite of Confirmation: Anointing with the Spirit (Order of the St. Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota; 2004) p. 47
Confirmation RitesThe confirmation liturgy marks one stage ofinitiation and celebrates the candidatesgradual and continuing growth into theEucharistic community. Confirmation ismost appropriately celebrated in thecontext of the Eucharist.
The following moments of the liturgy areto be carefully prepared: 1. The procession of ministers, candidates, and elements of the celebration: Cross bearer and servers with candles or Easter Candle (optional). Water for sprinkling rite. Candidates Chrism Lectionary or Book of Gospels Bishop accompanied by pastor II. The sprinkling rite which replaces the penitential rite.
III. Liturgy of the Word.IV. The Rite of Confirmation with 6 major actions: Presentation of the candidates After the gospel reading the candidates are "each called by name." They are to stand at their place to emphasize the importance of the moment Renewal of Baptismal promises Each candidate is asked questions about what they believe. They promise to reject evil. It is a bit like joining a club, except that the promises affect the whole of a persons life.
Laying on of hands The imposition of hands evokes blessing, compassion, and unity. The bishops extends his hands towards the candidates, invoking the Holy Spirit to come (Veni Sancti Spiritus) Anointing with chrism The anointing with chrism is the gesture which speaks of service and discipleship. It is the mark of the kingdom. The bishop says “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” General Intercession3Christopher Webber; A User’s Guide to the Book of Common Prayer: Baptism and Confirmation (Morehouse Publishing, 2006) p.24 4 TimothyFitzgerald; Confirmation: A Parish Celebration Revised Edition ( Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgical Training Publications, 1999) p.14
MATTERCHRISM- A Greek word literally meaning “ an anointing”- Also called as “ myrrh” - aromatic natural blend of essential oil and resin- Mixture of olive oil and balm blessed by the Bishop.This matter most appropriately signifies the effects ofthe Sacrament.OIL- expresses the plenitude of divine grace which ispoured out
BALSAM - signifies the sweet odour of virtue and preservationfrom the corruption of sin.-therefore, constitutes the matter of confirmation; andthis mixture of different elements at once expressesthe manifold graces of the Holy Ghost and theexcellence of this Sacrament.
FORM-The form of this Sacrament is the words pronounced bythe Bishop: "I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and confirmthee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of theFather, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost“- He/she is confirmed in strength by receiving newvirtue, and becomes a perfect soldier of Christ.- The form of the Sacrament should embrace whateveris necessary to explain its nature and substance.
With regard to the nature and substance of Confirmation there are three things that demand particular attention:1. the divine power -a primary cause that operates in the Sacrament -"in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,"2. the spiritual strength -which it imparts to the faithful unto salvation -"I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation;"3. the sign impressed on him -who is to engage in the warfare of Christ. -" I sign thee with the sign of the cross,"
The matter and form of this Sacrament are administered by the Bishop as theordinary minister in conformity with the teaching of Scripture and tradition. 5Confirmation; http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/
Roots us more deeply in the divine filiation [aschildren of God] which makes us cry, "Abba!Father!";Unites us more firmly to Christ;Increases the gifts of the Holy Spirits in us;Strengthen us with the grace to fight againstinternal battles against temptation and sin
Renders our bond with the Church moreperfect;Gives us a special strength of the Holy Spiritto spread and defend the faith by word andaction as true witnesses of Christ, to confessthe name of Christ boldly, and never to beashamed of the Cross. 6Kathleen Hughes; A Mystatogy of Sacrament: Saying Amen (Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1999) p.85
CALL TO MISSION “For all those who are able to understand and fulfill the commandments of God and of the Church.” Catholics who have been confirmed are “more strictly obliged to spread the faith by word and deed” (Lumen gentium, para. 11)7Scannell,T. (1908). Confirmation. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved September 9, 2012 from New Advent:http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04215b.htm 8D’Ambrosio, M. http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/ library_article/68/Sacrament_of_Confirmation__Sacrament_of_Champions___Part_II.html