Confirmation celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, verses 1 to 13, we read of the Apostles receiving the Holy Spirit. They had been hiding after Jesus’ death, afraid and uncertain. The coming of the Holy Spirit with his gifts inspired them and enabled them to take the step of preaching the good news. We are made members of God’s family at Baptism. At Confirmation, our Baptism is completed or “sealed” by the Holy Spirit and we are called to be Christian witnesses, just like the apostles.
Any baptised Catholic wishing to grow in faith can be Confirmed.
• For young people, this is usually when they are in Year 9 of secondary school
• For adults who were not confirmed as children, it means taking part in the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.)
A candidate for Confirmation is sponsored by a reasonably mature person, and a practising Catholic who has already received the Sacraments of Initiation, (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist). The Confirmation sponsor may be one of the people who were sponsors at Baptism. The sponsor undertakes to assist the confirmed person in growing in the fullness of their faith and in their membership of the Catholic Church. The person must be suitable for this role and have the intention of fulfilling it. Parents may not be sponsors.
The tradition of taking a new name at Confirmation emphasises the new identity of a Christian being called to witness to their faith. People are encouraged to take the name of a saint or a person from the Bible who inspires them in some way and whom they can pray to.
The Sacrament is conferred with the anointing with ‘Oil of Chrism’ on the forehead as the Bishop says ‘N … Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.’ The Holy Spirit draws the candidate closer to Christ. The Holy Spirit also strengthens the person to live as a witness of Christ.
A programme of preparation is arranged each year. Candidates must be 13 years or more when they sign on for Confirmation. Enrolment forms are available in June/July at the Church. It is a wonderful opportunity for young people to make your own personal decision that God is part of your life, and to explore more fully what your faith means to you.
Notices regarding the Confirmation process are published in the newsletter throughout the year. Enrolment forms will be available from Jeanette Otero, Catechist.