Sacraments – Confirmation

confirmation webpage dove“Be sealed in the Holy Spirit.”

With that we graduate, becoming Catholic adults, or so it can seem. In fact, a lot of the time, Confirmation in the Roman Catholic Rite can seem to be all about us: it is a public confirmation that you are choosing Christ and the Catholic Church. But then why do Eastern Rite Catholics, who are part of the Catholic Church, confirm infants right after baptism?

The reason is that Confirmation is not about what we can give to God, but what God gives to us: grace. Grace to live more fully as a son or daughter of God, learning what it really means to cry “Abba! Father!” Grace to unite ourselves more firmly to Christ, being open to both receiving and using the gifts of the Holy Spirit, ultimately for the building up of the Church as the Body of Christ. And most especially, the grace of the Holy Spirit to go out into the world and be a witness in word and action to all that it means to be a follower of Christ. This grace starts in baptism and is sealed through Confirmation, meaning that we are sealed into always having access to the grace of God to live as a Christian in the world. After all, the grace of Confirmation is not meant for us to keep, but to be shared with others.

 

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 8: 14-16)

All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life.  Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide.  Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence.  Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.

From the Rite of Confirmation

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