The Catholics believe that just as growth is a vital factor in human life, the soul also must grow in the life of grace. The Sacrament of confirmation is considered an essential step in the growth process of the Catholic Faith. Confirmation builds on the other sacraments of Baptism, Penance and Holy Communion. It’s actually the Sacrament that completes the process of initiation into the Catholic Faith.
What the Sacrament of Confirmation means
As the name might suggest, confirmation is a sacrament of initiation that establishes children and young adults as full members of the Faith. It is through this Sacrament that the Faith received in baptism is confirmed and made strong. Baptism may have occurred when you were a little child, and your parents and godparents made the promise to believe in God and renounce Satan on your behalf. Confirmation renews the same promises, but this time you will be speaking for yourself. According to the Catholic faith, during confirmation, you get to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s a special celebration, and that’s why parents usually send confirmation invitations to close family members and friends.
The ritual of confirmation
In some cases, the confirmation ceremony is made part of a mass or it can take place outside of mass. A bishop presides over the ceremony wearing red vestments to symbolize the red tongues of fire that were seen appearing over the apostles’ heads at Pentecost. Every person who wishes to be confirmed should have a sponsor that will accompany them during the confirmation ritual. You are allowed to choose the same godparents as for baptism if you wish.
Additionally, after you’re confirmed, you can choose a confirmation name to add to your other names. You can also decide to simply use the name given to you at baptism. With that said, your chosen name must be a Christian name such as that of a saint or hero from the Bible.
Here is what happens at the catholic confirmation ritual;
- You can stand or kneel before the bishop
- Your sponsor will lay one hand on your shoulder and say your confirmation name
- The bishop anoints you with the oil of chrism by making the sign of the cross on your forehead while also saying your confirmation name. He will also say ‘’ be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit’’.
- In response, you say ‘’Amen’’.
- The bishop says ‘’peace be with you’’.
- And you respond ‘’ and with your spirit’’ or ‘’and also with you’’.
You are now confirmed and an adult in the eyes of the Catholic Church.
What are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit?
We have talked about the gifts of the Holy Spirit that people receive upon confirmation. Well, these are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit which are received during the confirmation ritual;
- Piety or love
- Fear of the Lord
How do I choose a good sponsor?
In most cases, people choose their godparents as the perfect choice for confirmation sponsors. The first people that came into your mind when you were creating communion invitations can also make good sponsors in this case.