Traditionally, the Sacrament of Confirmation is the second of the sacraments of initiation, and the Eastern Church continues to confirm (or
chrismate) infants immediately after Baptism. Even in the West, where Confirmation is routinely delayed until a person's teen years, several
years after his First Communion, the Church has stressed the original order of the sacraments (most recently in Pope Benedict XVI's
apostolic exhortation Sacramentum caritatis).--- www.About.com:Catholicism
|Confirmation is the Sacrament in which baptized persons receive a special grace which strengthens them for the
profession of the Christian faith. The young men and women who receive Confirmation obtain a special grace to profess
the faith. On their souls are imprinted an indelible character, and so Confirmation can only be received once. When
preparing for this Sacrament, the young person typically selects the name of a favorite saint for his Confirmation name.
By Confirmation, the young people continue their path of Christian initiation. They are enriched with the gift of the Holy
Spirit, and are more closely linked to the Catholic Church. They are made strong soldiers of Christ, and so they are more
firmly obliged by word and deed to be faithful witnesses of Christ, spreading and defending the Catholic faith. --- (www.
The sacrament of Confirmation is given to those who know their faith. Thus, there is an extensive preparation and
formation program for candidates at SS & CC that takes about 9 months. The student must have 2 prior years of PSR. If
it is deemed that a candidate is simply not ready for confirmation, he/she will be asked to delay the reception of the
sacrament. The sponsor for the candidate must be a confirmed Catholic, and must actively practice his/her faith and be
willing to testify that the candidate is ready and willing to do the same. Confirmation is administered every 3 years.
Adults, or anyone over the age of 7, must follow RCIA directives.
In the Latin Rite, Confirmation is usually conferred by the Bishop, who lays his hands on the recipients, making the sign
of the Cross with chrism on their foreheads, while he says: “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Ordinary Form) or
“I sign thee with the sign of the cross and confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Extraordinary Form). It is called Confirmation because it confirms and strengthens baptismal
grace, and its effect is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit.