Confirmation is the completion of the process of initiation into the family of Christ and is preceded by Baptism and the Holy Eucharist
Sacrament of Confirmation
The Sacrament of Confirmation is usually the fourth Sacrament a person receives after Baptism, Penance and Eucharist. This is the Sacrament that completes our Baptism and our initiation into the Catholic Church. We receive the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit. The usual minister for the Sacrament of Confirmation is a Bishop but occasionally the Bishop may delegate a priest to administer the Sacrament or to assist him. The Sacrament is conferred by the imposition of hands and the anointing with the consecrated oil of Chrism. This oil is also used in Baptism, the ordination of priests and consecration of bishops.
All who are confirmed receive the Gift of God’s Holy spirit, the same Spirit that descended upon the Apostles fifty days after the resurrection on Pentecost. Jesus had returned to his Heavenly Father on Ascension Day and ten days after, sent his Spirit to lead and guide the new church. That same Spirit is given to our young people at Confirmation to lead and guide them in the way of the Lord. It may only be received once and is usually given at the age of 12/13. Candidates are prepared using the approved texts in the Religious Education Programme for primary schools and supported by the local parish and by their parents who are the principal educators of children in the faith.
The candidates accept a new name in addition to their baptismal names, the name of a saint whom they choose for a role model. A sponsor from baptism is involved in the ceremony to emphasise the connection between baptism and confirmation and the role others have in forming us in faith. For Catholics, proof of confirmation is a requirement for celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated communally in the parish church once a year or every second year depending on numbers, on a Saturday or Sunday. The date for the celebration in each parish is announced in the September / October beforehand and the thirty or so Confirmation ceremonies take place between 1st February and the 1st June approximately.