Confirmation Basics

What is the sacrament of confirmation really?  Isn’t it a “coming of age” ceremony?

Why does my son or daughter absolutely need to know in order to be confirmed?

What would be good for my son or daughter to know before being confirmed?

What is the sacrament of confirmation?

It is the completion of Christian initiation.

At baptism we became Christian – we were incorporated into the family of God and received the saving grace of God.  The Holy spirit joined his life to our soul and the gates of heaven became open to us.  We received a special mark/character on our souls that can never be erased -claiming us for Jesus Christ.

At confirmation this grace is sealed in a new and profound way.  Confirmation also bestows a mark/character upon the soul. For those who are confirmed after the age of 7 (what is classically spoken of as the “age of reason”) we need to understand what this sacrament means, what responsibilities we undertake as Catholic Christians, and personally prepare our hearts to receive this grace.  We want to make sure that we are not putting any obstacles in the way of receiving this grace.  Or said differently – we need to remove obstacles in our personal relationship with Jesus Christ and strengthen that relationship before the reception of the sacrament.

Does knowing this change how you want to prepare for this moment?

But I thought Confirmation was when I became an adult in the church – when I say “I believe” instead of my parents saying it for me?

This is a common misconception – sometimes confused by the fact that the Church calls confirmation “the sacrament of maturity”.

The hope is – that well before your confirmation (if you are/were confirmed in grade 7/8) that you will have prayed the creed at Mass and understood it and meant it  for yourself.

The difference between your baptism and your confirmation is that if you were baptized as a baby you couldn’t put any obstacles in the way of God’s love and grace.  At confirmation you can.

Confirmation is a gift – the gift of a special help when confronted with spiritually adult difficulties.  It is a gift that will strengthen you in trial.  It is a gift that makes you a witness to Jesus Christ and his Church by the way you live, by the words you say, by the choices you make.