ConfirmationConfirmation celebrates the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Below is the traditional list of the gifts and their meanings. Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom – gives us a relish for what is spiritual, directs our life and actions of God s honor and glory, and helps us to judge the things of this world only as helps or hindrances to reaching heaven.Understanding – enables us to penetrate more deeply into the truths that we already believe by faith.Counsel – helps us to make the right decisions in difficult circumstances.Fortitude – gives us the courage and patient endurance needed to carry out duties well and to overcome difficulties; it disposes us to sacrifice life itself if necessary.Knowledge – helps us to know God and His will for us through the would He created.Piety – inspires us with a great confidence in God our loving Father, and helps us serve Him and His children, our brothers, joyfully.Holy fear – inspires reverence for God s justice and majesty and a fear of displeasing Him. History:Biblical EraWe often refer the sacrament of confirmation as the sacrament of the Holy spirit. The Holy spirit has a key role to play in salvation history and in the life of the Christian. Hebrew prophets such as Joel, Isaiah and Ezekiel spoke the day when Yahweh (God) would send the spirit to all people.Jesus promises were fulfilled on Pentecost when the Holy spirit came in power to the apostles. The spirit impelled the apostles to preach the message of Jesus. Acts give us two biblical antecedents to confirmation. First the ritual anointing and laying on of hands to impart the spirit to baptize Christians. The second reference is to the twelve Ephesians who received the Holy Spirit.Sixth Through Early-Twentieth Centuries Christianity spread very fast once it become legalized. Bishops would no longer officiate at all baptisms. They began to reserve for themselves the right to anoint after baptism. They assumed the role of “confirming” the initiation of Christians. Because travel was hard confirmation often took place many years after baptism. Many Christians during these centuries didn t get confirmed. The catechism of the council of Trent (1566) insisted that everyone should be confirmed. It took place between the ages 7-12 and first communion when your around the age of 14.Twentieth CenturyIn 1910, Pope Piusx, to foster greater devotion to the Eucharist, permitted children to receive communion once they reached the age of reason. Thus most people in the Roman rite began to celebrate the last sacrament of initiation, the Eucharist before celebrating confirmation. Now most catholic churches permit priests to baptize, confirm, and give first communion to infants.Years ago there was considerable debate over the proper age for confirmation. Our parents celebrated confirmation in the forth, fifth and sixth grades. Today the sacrament of confirmation is done to young adolescents. Usually in the eighth grade. This age is ideal for celebrating the sacrament of confirmation as the sign of adulthood. Effects of ConfirmationOur historical review of confirmation reveals the longstanding link between baptism and confirmation as sacraments of initiation that precede first holy communion. It was only in the twentieth century when the popes encouraged the early reception of the Eucharist, was this order changed. This dose cause some confusion when referring to confirmation as a sacrament of initiation. Confirmation completes baptism while eucharistic completes both baptism and confirmation and points to full membership in the church. Effects of the Sacraments of InitiationBaptism:n makes us members of Christ s body and sharers in his priesthood.n forms us into God s people.n remits sin both original sin and personal sin. n makes us a new creation as adopted children of our loving God. Confirmation:n seals us with the gift of the Holy Spirit.n makes us more Christian-like and more closely bound to the church.
n strengthens us to witness courageously to our faith.n gives us the desire to do the Spirit s work: preach the gospel of Jesus in word and deed. Eucharist:n provides spiritual food for our pilgrimage to Godn signifies the unity of God s people.n enables us to share in the sacrifice of the cross, leading to redemption.n challenges us to ask the Father continuously for the gift of the Spirit who enables us to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Rite of ConfirmationThe rite of confirmation usually takes place within a eucharistic liturgy to stress the relationship among the sacraments of initiation. The presence of the Bishop at confirmation suggests the close bond between the larger church community and the confirmed Christians.Sponsors place and important role in confirmation. Sponsors bring the candidates to celebrate the sacrament and present them for anointing when called by the minister. Sponsors also help the newly confirmed to live their baptismal promises.Requirements that are need in order to be a sponsor are that the sponsor must be baptized already. They should have received proper catechetical instruction and be able to renew their baptismal promises and be free from sin or at a state of grace. Rite of Confirmation Within MassLiturgy of the word – the readings for the confirmation mass underscore the many roles of the Holy Spirit and the guidance and strength the Spirit gives to the church and to us the individual Christians.Sacrament of confirmation – after the gospel, the candidates tot he sanctuary with the sponsors. After the homily, the candidates and the congregation renew their baptismal vows. Laying on of the hands, through this biblical gesture the bishop and the concelebrating priests invoke the Holy Spirit.Anointing with oil, each candidate kneels before the bishop. The bishop moistens his thumb with the oil oof chrism, and makes the sign of the cross on the candidates forehead.General intercessions, the prayers of general intercessions include petitions for the newly confirmed, for the parents and sponsors, for the church, and for all people everywhere to acknowledge the one God and seek God s reign in unity with one another.Liturgy of the Eucharist, the mass then follows it s usual order. The Lord s prayer before communion is especially meaningful because the Holy Spirit is the one who prays in us and enables us to address God. Then the mass ends with a beautiful blessing but the bishop. What Age for ConfirmationThere is no uniform age for confirmation in the world wide church since can authorize an age that suits their own cultures. In some parts of the world confirmation takes place at age seven; in other laces, as late as eighteen. Later age, in English world an active debate is taking place on the proper age for confirmation. On one hand religious educators stress that confirmation is the sacrament of maturity. They argue that a later age for confirmation enables those baptized in infancy to renew more responsibility the commitment to a Christian life.Liturgical Unity, those who stress the liturgical integrity of the sacraments of initiation argue that confirmation completes baptism so it should be celebrated at baptism, not years later.Reflection, the debate over the age for confirmation is decided, we should remember one important truth: All the sacraments are gifts of grace. We do not earn God s love and grace. Living Your ConfirmationThe sacrament of confirmation gives us the fullness of the Holy spirit, the gifts and graces to live a courageous Christen life, and the challenge to witness to Jesus Christ. Us as Christians can live our confirmation by living the corporal works of mercy. The corporal works of mercy call on us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, and bury the dead. There are many organizations, even in your own school and parish, in which you can get involved. For example you might on hunger drives or volunteer your services else where, living the words of God isn t hard it is right in front of you. So get involved!