Confirmation - More about the Gift of the Holy Spirit
All About the Sacrament of Confirmation
My daughter has been preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation this year. And will be Confirmed in just a couple weeks from now! She’s been studying the meaning of the Sacrament, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and taking the necessary steps to prepare like going to confession and focusing intently on prayer.
This sacrament may be considered one of the more confusing or lesser-known sacraments in the Catholic faith, and since I was confirmed SO LONG AGO, it’s time again to explore what we receive in this powerful sacrament of initiation.
What is Confirmation?
The Sacrament of Confirmation is not a “coming of age” ceremony nor is it a rite of passage in the Catholic faith. This is a common misconception because many times young people receive it when they are approaching adulthood.
However, Confirmation is, according to the Catechism, about “strengthening what God has given, and continues to give, to his sons and daughters” (CCC 1302-1303).
God gives us grace and the gift of faith in the other sacraments (Baptism, Reconciliation, and the Eucharist). Confirmation is a renewal and reinforcement of those gifts, a deepening of our relationship with God, and a call to be a witness of Christ to the world.
Receiving the Sacrament
In a way, Confirmation is when “the Holy Spirit completes what was begun at baptism”. It’s when the gifts of the Holy Spirit - wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord - are strengthened.
The Rite of Confirmation includes a renewal of the Baptismal promises and can occur during Mass or outside of Mass. During the ceremony, the individual stands or kneels before the bishop or priest, and is anointed with the sacred Chrism oil and the priest says, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
At this point, the person is now “more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed” (CCC1285) and is reminded that she is a member of a large Universal Church and local parish community.
Gift Ideas for Loved Ones Being Confirmed
Many U.S. Catholic dioceses confirm their young people and RCIA catechumens and candidates in the Spring, during or after the Easter season. I’ve learned that many in the Northern U.S. are confirmed during their middle school years, while in the Southern U.S. it varies in age from middle to high school. Our diocese does confirmations both during the Spring as well as later in the year.
And because of the restrictions of COVID-19 and other challenges, sacrament schedules have really been disrupted and created quite a journey for my daughter to study for Confirmation this year. But despite the challenges, she and her peers have really done well to deepen their faith and connection with God!
No matter when your loved ones or friends are being confirmed, a small token of their Catholic faith is a perfect gift.
Pocket rosaries are a great gift idea for young people receiving Confirmation this year or next year. They’re easy to carry with them and are powerful reminders to turn the mind to prayer and to call on Mary throughout their day. Our Simply Effortless Pocket Rosary is a customer favorite.
Another gift option is a full size rosary for someone who is coming to the faith later in life as a convert and receiving Confirmation around the time of the Easter Vigil.
Either way, the rosary is a great meditative prayer that reminds us of Christ and what he did to secure our future and a perfect gift for confirmandi.
Pray for confirmandi!
Confirmation is both a culmination and beginning of one’s Catholic faith journey and a time of great grace, both for the person being confirmed and their family members experiencing the formation process with them. Whether someone you know and love is being confirmed this fall, this coming spring, or a year from now, let’s pray for all confirmandi!
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