Sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit
It is not always easy to be a witness to our faith. We need special help from God just as Jesus’ disciples did. As the disciples were blessed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit and received the Gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we receive the sign or the seal of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. When we were baptized we began our initiation into the Church. Through Confirmation, we continue with one more step into the Body of Christ. We are called to give public witness to the good news to the Catholic community. We are then sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit and strengthened to live our baptismal promises. Because, like Baptism, Confirmation imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, like Baptism it can never be repeated.
When we are confirmed, we may choose another name in addition to the one given at Baptism. This additional name may be the name of a patron saint we admire.
Confirmation is celebrated during a Mass with a bishop or his representative presiding. During the celebration, the bishop extends his hands over those to be confirmed and prays to God, the Father, “Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their Helper and Guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.”
The bishop then makes the sign of the cross on their foreheads and anoints them, saying, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” This anointing is the most important sign of the sacrament of Confirmation. The Sacrament of Confirmation perfects baptismal grace and through the gifts of the Holy Spirit helps us grow to Christian maturity. This sacrament strengthens our bond with the Church, associates us more closely with her Mission and helps us bear witness to the Christian faith in words and deeds.
The normal period of life for confirmation in the Catholic Church takes place around 14 years of age. At St. Mary, our young adults usually celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation while in the eighth grade. Please contact our Religious Education Office at 740.369.8228 for more information.