“And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind….Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…”
Confirmation - FAQs
The Church teaches that the Sacrament of Confirmation is one of the three Sacraments of Christian Initiation, with Baptism and the Eucharist. Confirmation seals a Christian with the Holy Spirit, and as such is a fundamental part of the Christian life. An adult without the Sacrament of Confirmation remains incompletely initiated in the Catholic faith.
As such, if you have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation but desire to, please contact one of the priests to discuss how this might be done. The Bishop (the ordinary minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation) generally confirms catechized Catholics on Pentecost at the Cathedral; priests are normally dispensed to confirm non-catechized adults in their parish during the Easter Vigil.
It is desirable to choose as a confirmation sponsor the person who undertook the same function in Baptism (i.e. the godparent). Nevertheless, another sponsor may be chosen.
The confirmation sponsor must fulfill the same requirements as a godparent, i.e. be a fully initiated and practicing Catholic, at least 16 years of age, chosen by the person to be confirmed (or his/her parents), and in good standing with the Church. As with baptism, the sponsor must not be the parent of the child.
In the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, the Sacrament of Confirmation can be celebrated as early as third grade.
The Church teaches that the Sacrament of the Eucharist is the completion of Christian initiation. Historically, the Church has maintained a strict relationship between Baptism and Confirmation, teaching that by the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. By “restoring the order” of the Sacraments, the Eucharist fittingly becomes the pinnacle of Christian initiation.
On a practical level, the Restored Order means two things: 1. Confirmation is received before first Communion; and 2. Both sacraments are received in the third grade at the same Mass.
The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has decided to return Confirmation to its earlier place of reception (at the age of reason) because children need every grace afforded to them at an earlier age in order to become saints in our increasingly secular world. In so doing, the diocese is following calls made by both the Second Vatican Council and Pope Benedict XVI.
The main symbols of Confirmation include the laying on of the bishop’s hands on the candidate, the anointing with chrism, the sign of the cross, and the gift of peace. Confirmation is also often associated with the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles at Pentecost.