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Confirmation

Confirmation
The sacrament of Confirmation is traditionally administered by the bishop, who alone is the ordinary minister of this sacrament. First, he stretches forth his hands, imposing them over those to be confirmed, and invokes the Holy Ghost upon them. Next, he anoints the forehead of each one with sacred chrism in the form of a cross, saying the words of the form. Then he gives each one confirmed a light stroke on the cheek with his right hand, saying: "Peace be with you." Finally, he solemnly blesses all those he has confirmed.

The matter of the sacrament of Confirmation, besides the imposition of hands by the bishop, is the anointing of the forehead of the baptized with Sacred Chrism, which is made from olive oil mingled with balsam and consecrated by the bishop on Holy Thursday. The oil signifies the abounding grace which is diffused over our souls to confirm us in our faith and the balsam signifies that we are strengthened by this grace and are enabled to give forth a good odor of Christian virtue and preserve ourselves from the corruption of vice. The anointing is made on the forehead, where signs of fear and shame appear, in order that he who is confirmed may understand that he should not be ashamed at the name and profession of a Christian, nor fear the enemies of his faith. A light stroke is given to the person confirmed to show him that he should be ready to bear all insults and endure all sufferings for the faith and for Jesus Christ.

The form of the sacrament of Confirmation is the phrase: "I sign thee with the Sign of the Cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

In the sacrament of Confirmation, Christians receive the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, which are:  Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and the Fear of the Lord.

To receive worthily the sacrament of Confirmation it is necessary to be in the grace of God, to know the principal mysteries of our holy faith, and to approach it with reverence and devotion. To preserve the grace of Confirmation a Christian should have frequent recourse to the sacraments, pray often, do good works, and live according to the laws of Jesus Christ, in spite of human respect.

Christians should choose their Confirmation sponsors carefully, because they are charged to show the confirmed, by word and example, the way to eternal life and to help them in spiritual combat. They should be of proper age, having received themselves the sacrament of Confirmation, be instructed in the necessary truths of religion, and be persons of virtue and good life. As do the godparents with the one who is baptized, the Confirmation sponsor contracts a spiritual relationship with the one who is confirmed.

Because Confirmation is one of the sacraments that imprint a character upon the soul, it may be received only once. All Christians should endeavor to receive the sacrament of Confirmation and to have their children and others for whom they care receive it. Christians who are baptized as infants traditionally receive the sacrament of Confirmation at the age of seven, because it is then that temptations usually begin, and the grace of the sacrament can be sufficiently discerned and a recollection be had of having received it.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more or desire the sacrament of Confirmation for yourself or for someone in your care.