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Weekly Words from The Rock


As we prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation next Saturday, I thought I would devote a section of this column to the Sacrament of Confirmation. 

The following reflections are taken from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Copyright 2006.

Question:  Who may receive Confirmation? 

Answer:  Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. 
Since Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist form a unity, it follows that the faithful receive this sacrament at the appropriate time (page 208).

Question:  Why not receive Confirmation more than once? 

Answer:  Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark, or indelible character on the Christian’s soul; for this reason one can receive the Sacrament only once in one’s life (page 208). 

“Confirmation is administered after the age of reason (age seven) is attained and is normally conferred by the bishop, signifying one’s bond with the Church and its apostolic origins” (page 210).

“Jesus promised the Apostles that he would send the Holy Spirit to them.  At Pentecost that promise of Christ was fulfilled (cf. John 16:12-15; Acts 2:1-47)” (page 210).

The essential rite of Confirmation is the anointing with the Sacred Chrism on the forehead, which is done by the laying on of the hand, while saying the words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” (page 210).

Question (found on page 207):  What are the effects of Confirmation?

Answer: it unites us more firmly to Christ;
it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
it renders our bond with the Church more
perfect;
it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit
to spread and defend the faith by word and
action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess
the name of Christ boldly, and never to be
ashamed of the Cross.

Can a priest be a minister of Confirmation? 

Answer: Yes, however, only in extraordinary circumstances (i.e., the Easter Vigil when the bishop cannot be the principal celebrant at each liturgy throughout the diocese).

Can a deacon be a minister of Confirmation? 

Answer: No.  Only bishops (the ordinary minister of Confirmation) and priests (the extraordinary minister of Confirmation) can confer the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Categories: Weekly Columns