The Sacrament of Confirmation is typically received during sophomore year of high school. It is a two-year preparation program, which needs to be preceeded by attending the Edge middle school ministry. If you would like more information regarding Confirmation, please contact our Confirmation Coordinator JP Manning.
Theology of Confirmation
Confirmation, along with the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist, form the Sacraments of Initiation and are intimately connected to one another. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is “sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit” and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ. The reception of Confirmation is necessary for the baptized to be more perfectly bound to the church and be enriched with the special strength of the Holy Spirit.
The typical age for Confirmation is following Baptism and the “age of reason” 15-16 yrs. of age or Grade 10 at St. Mary’s Parish.
Confirmation and Sacred Scripture
The Old Testament prophets foretold God’s Spirit would rest upon the Messiah (IS 9:6-7). This prophecy was fulfilled when Mary conceived and bore a son named Jesus (LK 1:26.38). The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus at His Baptism and remained with Him throughout His ministry. Before Jesus died and again at His Ascension, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to build up and sustain the church. Saint John testifies to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Easter night when Jesus breathed on the Apostles and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Later the Holy Spirit is manifested at the “birthday of the church” in the Upper Room at Pentecost with Mary and the Apostles (John 20:20-23).
The Essential Rite of Confirmation
The Bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation. In the New Testament custom of laying hands on those who would receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Bishop extends his two hands over all candidates for Confirmation . He recites a prayer that begs the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to pour forth His sevenfold gifts (Wisdom, Counsel, Knowledge, Piety, Understanding, Fortitude, Awe and Reverence-Isaiah 11:1-3)). These are permanently given to them to allow them the graces they need to be disposed to lead a good life. The sacrament is conferred in the Latin Rite by the anointing with Sacred Chrism. As the person is anointed the Bishop says “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peace be with you”.
The connection between Baptism and Confirmation is further revealed through the selection of a name by which the person is anointed. As a name was chosen for one at Baptism, the person now chooses a name for him or herself.