Confirmation

At Confirmation we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and confirm our baptismal promises. Greater awareness of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conferred through the anointing of chrism oil and the laying on of hands by the Bishop.

Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds. (CCC 1316)

Through the Sacrament of Confirmation we renew our baptismal promises and commit to living a life of maturity in the Christian faith. As we read in the Lumen Gentium (the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church) from the Second Vatican Council:

Bound more intimately to the Church by the Sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are endowed by the Holy Spirit with special strength; hence they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith both by word and by deed as true witnesses of Christ. (no. 11)


In the Acts of the Apostles we read of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. While Baptism is the Sacrament of new life, Confirmation gives birth to that life. Baptism initiates us into the Church and names us as children of God, whereas Confirmation calls us forth as God’s children and unites us more fully to the active messianic mission of Christ in the world.

After receiving the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles went out and confirmed others, showing confirmation to be an individual and separate Sacrament: Peter and John at Samaria (Acts 8:5-6, 14-17) and Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19:5-6). Also the Holy Spirit came down on Jews and Gentiles alike in Caesarea, prior to their baptisms. Recognizing this as a confirmation by the Holy Spirit, Peter commanded that they be baptized (cf. Acts 10:47).

Expectations for the Reception of Confirmation

Any Catholic who is baptized but not confirmed has the right to request the Sacrament of Confirmation. With this right, also comes the responsibility of showing that they are ready to receive the Sacrament. The candidate (the person requesting and preparing for Confirmation) should be fulfilling the requirements laid out in the Catechism:

"A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason..."

St. Ambrose Parish is in the Archdiocese of Hartford and must follow the age requirements that have been set in place by the Archbishop. The age of reason for the reception of Confirmation is 10th grade. This does not mean that Confirmation needs to be received in 10th grade, only that the candidate must be at least that age to be confirmed. If a candidate is not ready to receive the Sacrament in 10th grade, he or she can receive it at a later time when properly prepared.

"...must profess the faith..."

A candidate must be able to profess or explain the faith in an age appropriate manor. They should have an understanding of the basic Church teachings and be striving to grow in their understanding as they grow older. Confirmation should not be viewed as the end of the candidate's faith formation but a step along the way of a life long journey in the faith.

"...be in the state of grace..."

A candidate must be in the state of grace at the reception of the Sacrament. This means that the candidate is free from any mortal sins. Candidates should go to Confession prior to the reception of the Sacrament if necessary.

"...have the intention of receiving the Sacrament..."

A candidate should be coming to receive the Sacrament freely and by his/her own will. This cannot be something that parents, grandparents or anyone else forces upon a candidate. Others can encourage a candidate to prepare and receive the Sacrament but since it is a gift, it cannot be forced upon another person. If a candidate is not ready to be committed to preparing for and receiving the Sacrament in 10th grade, it's okay! The Sacrament can be received at any age after 10th grade and should be received when the candidate freely chooses it.

"...and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness of Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs."

For a candidate to be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness of Christ, he or she should be aware of what that means. Candidates should be able to show through their actions that they are striving to assume this role. They should become familiar with the T.R.A.I.T.S. of a Disciple and striving to apply them to their life. Growing as a disciple isn't something that should be done only during immediate preparation time for Confirmation but should be done throughout a candidate's life - long before and long after the reception of Confirmation. 

Confirmation Preparation

To help a candidate better profess the faith and be prepared to assume the role of a disciple, he/she will also need to take part in a time of preparation for Confirmation specifically.

1. If you're an incoming 10th grader or older, are actively involved in the St. Ambrose Parish and have personally decided that you'd like to be confirmed, contact the Pastor, Father Turner, or the Youth Minister, Rose, to request a Confirmation Candidate Application. This will give you an opportunity to reflect on your faith, how you're living out the T.R.A.I.T.S. of a Disciple in your life and if you're ready to commit to preparation.

2. Once a Confirmation Candidate Application is completed and submitted, you may be asked to meet with Father Turner, Rose or another member of the Parish staff. This will give an opportunity to discuss the application, your answers and talk about your readiness to begin preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

3. If you are ready to make this commitment to prepeare and your actions support this decision, you may begin attending Confirmation Preparation Gatherings. These gatherings are split into two main topics: Disciplines of Discipleship and the Sacrament of Confirmation (a total of 9 gatherings, attendance at all is required). These gatherings will provide candidates with an opportunity to learn and discuss more about what it means to be an intentional disciple of Chrsit and what Confirmation really is. Upon completion of these gatherings, a candidate may be asked to schedule another meeting to discuss their readiness to receive the Sacrament.

4. Candidates will need to pray and choose a Confirmation Sponsor that will stand beside them on the day of Confirmation. Candidates will also need to pray and choose a Saint for their Confirmation name. Confirmation is usually scheduled for the Spring - exact details are not provided to the Parish until a few months before.

If a candidate cannot commit to the gatherings, is not actively trying to apply the T.R.A.I.T.S. of a Disciple into their lives or behaves in such a way that shows they are not ready or willing to prepare for the Sacrament, they may be asked to focus on the areas that they need to work on to show readiness and postpone the reception of the Sacrament for another time.

 

 

Rose Cassidy

Youth Minister

203-484-0403 ext. 307

Rose.Cassidy@nbcatholics.org

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