Confirmation is regarded as the perfection of Baptism, because, as the introduction to the Rite of Confirmation states: “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.”
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, “The original minister of Confirmation is the bishop.” Each bishop is a successor to the apostles. The essential element in Confirmation is the bishop’s anointing of the confirmandi (the person being confirmed) with chrism (an aromatic holy oil) accompanied by the words “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” This seal is a consecration, an indelible mark, representing the Holy Spirit’s safeguarding the graces conferred at Baptism. The seven Gifts of the Spirit give the confirmandi the strength to defend and live the Catholic faith.
Two other elements of the Sacrament of Confirmation are the bishop’s blessing in the laying on of hands and the confirmandi’s renewal of baptismal promises.
Preparation for Confirmation
“Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Chirst and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit – his actions, his gifts, and his bidding – in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilites of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands.” ( Catechism of the Catholic Church #1309)
Confirmation, at Blessed Sacrament, takes place during a student’s 8th grade year. This year of preparation, takes place at Blessed Scrament School (for the 8th grade students attending BSCS) and at PSR (Parish School of Religion) for public school students. PSR meets on Monday evenings from 6:45 to 8:00 PM. This year of preparation includes study, prayer, and service. Students preparing to celebrate first Reconciliation, first Communion, or Confirmation must attend classes regularly at least one year prior to the sacramental preparation year. There will be meetings and retreat experiences for parents and/or students during the sacramental preparation years. Information about these gatherings will be communicated both by letter and by publication in the parish bulletin.
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