What is Confirmation?
Confirmation completes the Christian initiation begun in Baptism, making us spiritually adult by means of a permanent ‘seal’ upon our souls. In this sacrament the Holy Spirit also gives us seven gifts that enable us to see and act well spiritually. These gifts empower us to publicly proclaim the Gospel and to defend the faith against opposition.
Why is Confirmation important?
Confirmation is usually given by a bishop to those beginning to take on full Christian responsibilities. It is important because it equips them for living the Christian life in this world, helping them to attain salvation for themselves and others.
Confirmation and Pentecost
Confirmation perpetuates in the Church the grace of Pentecost, when the disciples received the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel (ccc. 1288). Scripture describes his descent as like the ‘rush of a violent wind’ with ‘divided tongues, as of fire’ coming to rest on each disciple (Ac 2:1-4). They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to preach in other languages.
What are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Three of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are for spiritual vision, that is, for grasping divine realities and created things in their proper order. These gifts are wisdom, understanding and knowledge. The other four gifts are to assist good spiritual action. Counsel gives an understanding of what to do in particular situations. Fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord give perseverance, reverence for God and fear of offending God out of love of him.
How do we receive Confirmation?
Those about to receive Confirmation first renew their baptismal promises. Then the bishop prays over them for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Finally, the bishop anoints the forehead of each with holy oil (chrism), while praying the words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
This article is originally from ‘CREDO: The Catholic Faith explained’ by CTS.