An introduction to Catholic Confirmation of children.
Catholic Confirmation – Flame of Faith
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the sacrament of initiation that completes the sacrament of Baptism, the first sacrament of initiation.
As Catholic Christians our initiation is complete when we make our first Holy Communion, becoming full members of the church.
The sacrament of confirmation is usually led by the Bishop.
The Bishop and Parish Priest welcome all to the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation.
“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
“Peace be with you.”
“And with your spirit.”
“The words that I have just spoken are not my words, they are the words of the risen Christ. When He rises from the dead the first words He speaks are ‘Peace be with you’. He’s hear in our midst and it’s He who Confirms our young brothers and sisters breathing into them in a new and deeper way the life of God first breathed into them when they were Baptised.”
Through the Word of God, we are reminded that Jesus is present amongst us and is calling us to be disciples within our community. Within the gospel, Jesus speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Bishop expands on this within his homily.
A member of the sacramental team calls the candidates by name reminding us that God calls us by name during our baptism.
In the homily the Bishop speaks to the candidates.
“Now because you belong to Jesus He wants to give you stuff – as you would say. We call them the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Candidates have you ever heard of the gifts of the Holy Spirit? We call them gifts because they cost you nothing. And they’re the gifts that Jesus gives you tonight because you belong to Him. Now here tonight I’m going to make you a promise in His name. If you accept the gifts – don’t just throw them away and if you open the gifts – don’t just leave them wrapped up in the corner and if you then take them out and use the gifts through your life you will – whatever your life brings: good times and bad times – through all of that you will experience the peace that only Jesus can give.”
At Baptism our parents and godparents make our baptismal promises for us. At Confirmation the candidates are asked to renew these promises themselves.
“Do you believe in the Holy Spirit – the Lord the giver of life who came upon the Apostles at Pentecost and this evening is given to you sacramentally in Confirmation?”
The bishop prays the prayer of confirmation with his hands extended over the candidates.
“All powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed these your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them now to be their helper and guide.”
Candidates with their sponsors come forward to the bishop.
The bishop anoints the candidate with chrism saying “Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit”.
The bishop touches the side of the candidate’s face and says “Peace be with you”.
The candidate responds with “And with your spirit”.
Prayers of the faithful are offered for those who have been confirmed and for people everywhere.
“Let us pray to the Lord.”
“Lord hear our prayer.”
The Bishop offers a final blessing and we leave in peace.