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.
-from the Rite of Confirmation, the Prayer for the Laying on of Hands
Confirmation is fundamental and is the basis for others.
Confirmation is fundamental and is the basis for others. The Second Vatican Council decreed that the rite of confirmation was to be revised so that “the intimate connection which this sacrament has with the whole of Christian initiation would be more fervently set forth.” This process includes learning the Christian Story, coming to faith in Jesus, gaining in community prayer, and becoming involved with others in the community in Christian service and ministry. Accepting the gift of faith at confirmation is a specific moment in the lifelong process.
Confirmation is intimately connected with baptism and confirmation. The distinction between the two sacraments is more historical than theological. The distinction between the two sacraments is a matter of emphasis or focus. They celebrate different aspects one grace reality – the mystery of God’s self-gift to the individual in and through the Christian community. Baptism and Confirmation are seen as framing a lengthy initiation process that extends through childhood and adolescence. Of course, Confirmation is also intimately connected with the Eucharist. Their baptism-confirmation rites by their very nature call for, orient us to and find their reason for being as an introduction to full participation in the Eucharist.
Confirmation is the sacrament of the Holy Spirit. Each candidate is anointed by the Bishop and sealed “with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Confirmation is a sacramental celebration of the Holy Spirit in the life of the person being initiated as well as the communal life of the initiating community. Confirmation binds one more closely to the Church. It is a mutual relationship between the individual and the community whereby the community commits itself to sustain, encourage, and nurture the spiritual life of the initiate; and initiate commits himself/herself to be a full participant in the faith life of the community. Confirmation is also the sacrament of the Christian witness. The witness of a Christian life is the most effective means of spreading the good news.
Confirming is the celebration of one’s willingness to be for others as Jesus was, to use one’s gifts for the sake of the community, and to give one’s life in the service of others.