“When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 and they went down there and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit, for as yet he had not come down on any of them: they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”(Acts 8: 14-17)
Jesus Christ said to his Apostles, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be My witnesses.” (Acts 1:8)
Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments instituted by Christ for the conferral of sanctifying grace and the strengthening of the union between individual souls and God.
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. (Can. 879)
The Seven Gifts of The Holy Spirit
The Effects of Confirmation
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.
From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
- it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15);
- it unites us more firmly to Christ; it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
- it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
- it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.
When is it done?
Children who have received who have been baptised, received their First Reconciliation and their First Communion are able to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Archdioces of Sydney states that they must be in Year 6 with the minimum age being eleven. In case of danger of death, Confirmation may be conferred at any age. Evidence of baptism is to be submitted to the Parish Priest.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is held twice a year at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.
Preparation at the Parish is essential and registration must be made in advance. with your parish.
Confirmation is usually on Pentecost Sunday each year and a date in October.
Please call the Parish Priest or the Parish Pastoral Co-ordinator for more information.
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. It is not permissible to have one person as a proxy for all boys or girls who are being confirmed.
The Confirmation sponsor must be a Catholic, who is practising the faith. He/she must be at least 16 year of age. The sponsor is to have received Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The sponsor is to lead the 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.
What Happens During Confirmation?
The Sacrament of Confirmation usually takes place during a Mass and is generally performed by a Bishop. A Bishop can delegate this authority to a priest if required.
The Renewal of Baptismal Promises
After the homily, the candidates stand to renew their baptismal promises. They should respond ‘I do’ loudly and clearly together, proud of their faith.
Each candidate then comes forward and stands before the bishop with his or her sponsor.
The Laying on of Hands
The Bishop lays his hands on each of the candidates. This is to show them that they have the special job of living like Jesus would want and showing other people how to do the same. The hands are a symbol of the power and strength that will come to them through the Holy Spirit.
The sponsor hands the card with the candidate’s confirmation name to the priest, and places his or her right hand on the candidate’s right shoulder.
The Anointing with Chrism
The bishop then dips his thumb in the chrism, and makes the sign of the cross on the candidate as he says:
Bishop: (Name), be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
Bishop: Peace be with you.
Candidate: And with your spirit.
The newly-confirmed and the sponsor then return to their seats. After all candidates have been confirmed, there follows the General Intercessions and the rest of the Mass as usual.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is available to children in year 6 or higher who have been baptised, made their first reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Children wishing to register should attend a Registration/Orientation Evening.
Following registration children need to attend preparation classes with their parent. These are usually held in the Parish Centre on weekday evenings.
Confirmation Registration at Sacred Heart Parish
Note: If you did not send a copy of the child’s Baptism or First Communion certificate, please send it to office@ sacredheartcab.org.au or submit it to the parish’s office.