What place does Confirmation have in the divine plan of salvation?
In the Old Covenant, the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest upon the expected Messiah and upon all the Messianic people. The whole life and mission of Jesus unfolds in total communion with the Holy Spirit. The Apostles received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and announce “the wonders of God” (Acts 2:11). They communicate to the newly baptized, by the laying on of hands, the gift of the same Spirit. Over the centuries, the Church has continued to live by the Spirit and to communicate it to her children.
Why is it called Confirmation or Chrismation?
It is called Confirmation because it confirms and strengthens baptismal grace. It is called Chrismation, since an essential rite of this sacrament is the anointing with Chrism (in the Eastern Churches, anointing with Holy Myron).
What is the essential rite of Confirmation?
The essential rite of Confirmation is the anointing with the Holy Chrism (olive oil mixed with perfumes, consecrated by the bishop), which is done with the imposition of hands by the minister, who pronounces the sacramental words proper to the rite. In the West, this anointing is made on the forehead of the baptized with these words: “Receive by this sign the gift of the Holy Spirit.” In the Eastern Churches of Byzantine rite, the anointing is also done in other parts of the body, with the formula: “Seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit”.
What is the effect of Confirmation?
The effect of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, just as it happened at Pentecost. This effusion impresses on the soul an indelible character and gives rise to the baptismal grace; Deeply rooted the divine filiation; Unites more strongly with Christ and his Church; Strengthens in the soul the gifts of the Holy Spirit; Gives a special strength to bear witness to the Christian faith.
Who can receive this sacrament?
The sacrament of Confirmation can and must be received once by one who has already been baptized. To receive it with fruit you must be in the grace of God.
Who is the minister of Confirmation?
The original minister of Confirmation is the bishop: this shows the bond of the confirmed with the Church in its apostolic dimension. When the sacrament is administered by a priest, as ordinarily happens in the East and in particular cases in the West, it is the same presbyter, collaborator of the bishop, and the holy chrism, consecrated by him, who express the bond of the confirmed with the bishop and with church.