SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION

GENERAL INFORMATION

Those who have been baptised continue on the path of Christian initiation through the Sacrament of Confirmation. In this sacrament, they receive the Holy Spirit, whom the Lord sent upon the apostles at Pentecost.

“This giving of the Holy Spirit conforms believers more perfectly to Christ and strengthens them so that they may bear witness to Christ for the building up of his body in faith and love. They are so marked with the character or seal of the Lord that the sacrament of Confirmation cannot be repeated” (Introduction to Rite of Confirmation).

“The Sacrament of Confirmation strengthens the baptised and obliges them more firmly to be witnesses of Christ by word and deed and to spread and defend the faith. It imprints a character, enriches by the gift of the Holy Spirit the baptised continuing on the path of Christian initiation, and binds them more perfectly to the Church” (Canon 879: Church Law).

 

PREPARATION

The Sacrament of Confirmation is a PARISH-BASED preparation program. The Parish Sacramental Team consists of the Parish Priest, parishioners, the Parish Catechist Coordinator and the Religious Education Coordinator of the parish primary school. All work together to ensure that the children are well prepared to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The initiation of children into the sacramental life is, for the most part, the responsibility and concern of Christian parents. This responsibility of the parents is also shown by their active participation in the celebration of the sacraments. The overall purpose of the preparation is to prepare the candidates to celebrate the sacrament with greater faith and understanding and to incorporate them more fully into the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

Parents take an ACTIVE role in the program by attending each session with their child. Parents also assist their child in follow-up activities at home. It is the Parish Sacramental Team that ASSISTS the parents to prepare their child.

The Parish-based program has various components which MUST all be attended:

  • Parent Information Session

  • Enrolment Sunday

  • Sessions on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings

  • Celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation takes place every two (2) years in Term 3 of the year that the Sacrament is celebrated.

 

THOSE TO BE CONFIRMED

Candidates for Confirmation must be baptised within the Catholic Church or, if baptised in another Christian communion, formally received into the Church. A valid Confirmation is never repeated. So, an Orthodox Christian received into the Church would never be re-Confirmed. However, the Church does not recognise as valid the Confirmation conferred in the Anglican communion, and so an Anglican convert would need to be confirmed.

It is encouraged that those who are to be confirmed choose a new confirmation name (not their baptismal name) from a list of canonised saints.

The ordinary Minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation is a bishop, however the bishop can delegate a priest to confirm in particular circumstances.

 

SPONSORS

Each candidate for Confirmation is to have his/her own sponsor. In order to keep the connection with baptism, it is recommended that the godparent also be the sponsor. However it is permissible to choose another as sponsor.

The Confirmation sponsor must be a Catholic, who is practising the faith, and has the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function. He/she is to have completed the sixteenth year of age. The sponsor is to have received Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The sponsor is to lead a life of faith in keeping with the function which he/she has been asked to assume, and is not to be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared. The candidate’s father or mother is not to be the sponsor.

 

The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated every 2 years at St Jerome's Punchbowl. The Sacrament of Confirmation will next be conferred in 2018.