Confirmation celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, verses 1 to 13, we read of the Apostles receiving the Holy Spirit. They had been hiding after Jesus’ death, afraid and uncertain. The coming of the Holy Spirit with his gifts inspired them and enabled them to take the step of preaching the good news.
We become members of God’s family at Baptism. At Confirmation, our Baptism is completed or “sealed” by the Holy Spirit and we are called to be Christian witnesses, just like the apostles. The whole of our Christian living and the life of the Church, too, are sustained by the same Spirit.
Confirmation is celebrated each year in St Mary’s Parish. Those wishing to receive the sacrament are invited to apply to the parish and commit to a programme of preparation in school, at home and in the parish. The date for the celebration is generally given by the Bishop.
Each candidate is asked to choose a Confirmation name; this should be a name of a saint or a person from the Bible or the communion of saints who inspires them in some way.
Each candidate is asked to choose a Sponsor who undertakes to assist the confirmed person in growing in the fullness of their faith and in their membership of the Catholic Church. A person qualifies as a sponsor by being a reasonably mature adult, who is at least 16 years old, and has already received the Sacraments of Initiation, (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) themselves. The Confirmation sponsor may be one of the people who was a sponsor at Baptism.
Registration of Confirmation
After the ceremony, the parish priest records the baptism in the Confirmation Register of the parish. This record includes the full names of the child, parents/guardians and sponsor, the child’s date of birth, the date of the Confirmation and the name of the officiating bishop. A parent/guardian will be asked to complete a form giving permission for the parish to record this data.
A Certificate of Confirmation can then be issued by the parish as and when required.
Pope Francis reminds us:
Confirmation, like every Sacrament, is not the work of men but of God, who cares for our lives in such a manner as to mould us in the image of his Son, to make us capable of loving like him. He does it by infusing in us his Holy Spirit….
— General Audience | 29 January 2015