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Reference Catholic Encyclopedia by Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas, PH.D. pg 246-247

The Sacrament of Confirmation

 

A sacrament instituted by Chris I promising to send the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:15-21). We find this fulfilled in the Pentecost event, and after Peter proclaims the basic gospel message, the people moved by it ask, "What shall we do?" Peter responds, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the holy Spirit"(Acts 2:37-38)

This suggest a two fold aspect of Christian Initiation - Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and the Spirit given in Confirmation. In Acts 8 and 19, we have scriptural witness to a rite after baptism, the laying on of hands, which gives the Holy Spirit. In the early Church, it was difficult to distinguish between the sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist) because they were administered by the bishop as a continuous rite on Holy Saturday to adult catehumens.

At first, in the East and later in the West, the laying on of hands ceded to anointing and this was heightened by the Fathers’ describing this action as the "sealing" with the Spirit. As infant baptism became more and more the practice (forth and fifth centuries onward), the East kept the three sacraments together and had the priest administer them, whereas in the West the local priest began the sacrament of Baptism and had the bishop confirm them as older children or Adolescents later on when he was able to make a pastoral visit.

This western separation of initiation caused speculation on what specifically Confirmation did over and above Baptism. Western theologians emphasized the patristic teaching that the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit were give then( cf. Is 11:2-3). This listing of the gifts of the Spirit placed a special emphasis on fortitude from medieval theologians. The Holy Spirit was seen as giving a particular strength to fight for the Christian faith and life. The emphasis even found its way into the medieval ritual, which had the bishop administer a light tap or slap on the check of one being confirmed, to show him that he must be ready to lay down his life for the Faith, must defend it and be a soldier for Christ—An emphasis that accord with the Catholic Action movement of the 1930s and 1940s.( Actually this "blow" was a remnant of the sign of peace formally given to the newly confirmed, as evidence by the accompanying words of the bishop, Pax tecum - "Peace be with you.")

Contemporary theology sees confirmation as a completion of baptism, a sealing with the Holy Spirit to enable the Christian to witness to his faith in a mature way. Pope Paul VI, in the Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of confirmation, still sees this sacrament as endowing the recipients "with special strength" and obliging them "to spread and defend the Faith both by word and by deed as true witnesses of Christ." Normally, in the West young people in adolescence are confirmed rather than in infancy, as in the Eastern custom. The usual minister is the bishop , though the priest may help for large groups and in certain cases(e.g., reception of converts at the Easter Vigil) confirm by themselves. Vatican II decree a reform of the rite, and a new form was provided: " N., be sealed in the Holy spirit," which is an ancient Byzantine formalary said by the minister while anointing with holy chrism, the royal and priestly oil.

 

The Seeker’s Catechism by Micheal Francis Pennock. Pages 67-69

 

What is RCIA?

 

Rite of Christian initiation of Adults. The RCIA is a process which has four periods and three rites.

 

Period 1: Precatechumenate - The journey of initiation begins here by sharing life experience, word of God, knowledge of the church and learn about Jesus Christ.

 

Stage 1: Rite of Acceptance - Through a rite of welcome, the seekers ask for acceptance into the church. They become known as catechumens.

 

Period 2: Catechumens - Study the faith more deeply.

 

Stage 2: Rite of Election - on the first Sunday of Lent the ‘elect’ gather at their parish and are called forward to take the final step toward Christian initiation.

 

Period 3: Purification and Enlightenment Elect are challenged to prepare themselves for baptism and full reception into the community by prayer and fasting.

 

Stage 3: Rite of Initiation - The elect are baptized, confirmed and receive the eucharist for the first time as full members of Christ’s body.

 

Period 4: Mystagogia - The new Christians meet to reflect on the meaning of the recent events.

 

Reference : A Brief Catechism for Adults by Fr. William J. Cogan pg 74-76

 

What does Confirmation do for your soul?

 

Gives you more Sanctifying Grace.

It gives you more strength to sty away from sin and kead a Christian life.

It helps you to be a loyal and faithful follower of Jesus Christ.

It gives you the strength to profess your Catholic Faith openly and not to hide it.

 

Can you goto heaven without Confirmation?

Yes, but it is more difficult.

 

What is holy Chrism.?

A mixture of olive oil and balm.

 

Reference: Saint Joseph Confirmation book by Rev. Lawance G. Lovasik, S.V.D pg 24

The Holy Ghost comes into your soul more fully when you are confirmed. He brings to you soul his Seven Gifts, which are: Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord.

 

The gift of Wisdom helps me to seek God, and make Him the center of my life, so that his love may grow in my soul.

The gift of understanding gives light to my mind, that I may know and love the truths of faith and live by them.

The gift of Knowledge teaches me to know good from evil and to do what is right in the sight of God.

The gift of council guides me in all actions, that I may always know and to do God’s holy will and act with prudence.

The gift of Fortitude strengths my soul in my troubles and temptations, and gives me confidence in God.

The gift of piety helps me to remember God’s presence in my soul and gives me a deep reverence for God and my fellow human beings.

The gift of the Fear of the Lord helps me to avoid displeasing God by sin because of my love and respect for him.

 

References in the Bible with help from Saint Joseph Confirmation Book pg 248-253

How the Holy Spirit will act - Read Jn 16, 5-15,

Descent of the Holy Spirit - Acts 2, 1-4

Peter and John place their hands on the baptized Acts 8, 14-17

The gift of the Holy Spirit poured out on Gentiles - acts 10, 44-48

Pauls mission is inspired by the Holy Spirit - Acts 13, 2-6

Paul confirms in Epheses Acts 19, 1-7

Paul is protected by the Holy Spirit Acts 20, 22-28