In the Sacrament of Confirmation, initiation in the Christian life is completed so that believers are sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and are strengthened to give witness to the Good News of Jesus. In Confirmation we speak for ourselves as we renew the promises our parents and godparents made for us at Baptism. Confirmation is celebrated during a Mass with a bishop or his representative presiding. A high point in the rite of Confirmation is the laying on of hands. The bishop extends his hands over those to be confirmed, praying in part, “Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their Helper and Guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in Your presence.” Then the bishop dips his thumb into blessed oil that is called holy chrism. He makes the sign of the cross on the foreheads of those being confirmed, anointing them as he says, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” This anointing with oil is the most important sign of the sacrament of Confirmation.
Those who confirmed may choose another name in addition to the one given to them at Baptism. They choose a saint whom they have read about and admire.
Sponsors for each candidate are present at the rite of Confirmation to give support to those who are making an adult commitment to their faith.
Classroom instruction (either through the Parish School or CCD) and course content introduce the necessary doctrinal principles to comprehensively prepare students for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Most students are confirmed during the eighth grade.
The date for Confirmation is announced once notification is received from the Bishop’s Office. A Confirmation Enrollment Mass, held in October, announces the prospective candidates desire to be confirmed to the parish. Two informational parent meetings are held after the New Year to assist parents and families in preparing their children for the Sacrament. A day of retreat, Spirit Day, is held in the spring to enhance the candidates’ preparation. Candidates engage with three speakers on various confirmation-related topics, walk through the Rite with the pastor, and enjoy lunch. A final walk-through is held in the church the Friday before Confirmation.
For further information contact the Office of Religious Education, Don Fontana, at 412-276-0277, firstname.lastname@example.org.