Known as the Sacrament of Strengthening, “by the Sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed” (CCC 1285).
Accordingly, “Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds” (CCC 1316).
In essence, Confirmation strengthens the supernatural life we received at Baptism. In addition, like Baptism, Confirmation imparts an indelible mark on the recipient and, therefore, cannot be repeated once validly received. The reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace and, therefore, should not be omitted.
The effects of this Sacrament are the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as granted to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. As such, we can say that the specific effects of Confirmation include:
• An increase and deepening of baptismal grace
• Rooted more deeply as a child of God
• United more firmly to Jesus
• An increase in the gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord) within us
• Our bond with the Church is perfected
• We are given a special strength from the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by both word and action
• We are strengthened to be able to confess the name of Christ boldly, and to not be ashamed of the cross in our lives
In essence, this Sacrament helps us to witness, spread and defend the faith by both word and action in our daily lives.
In the Latin rite, “the sacrament of Confirmation is conferred through the anointing with chrism on the forehead, which is done by the laying on of the hand, and through the words: 'Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti' [Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit]” (CCC 1300).
Any baptized person not yet validly confirmed can and should receive this Sacrament. If you are interested in receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, please contact the Parish Office or talk to one of the Parish priests after Mass.
For more information on the Sacrament of Confirmation, please see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 1285 - 1321.