If you’re Catholic, you probably know that the Sacrament of Confirmation involves the blessing of oil and laying hands on the recipient to release the Holy Spirit into them and give them strength in their life as Christians. You might have even received it yourself or have had a friend who has. However, there are some things that many people don’t know about this sacrament and how it plays an important role in one’s faith in the Catholic Church. Here are 7 things you might not know about the Sacrament of Confirmation!
1) What does this sacrament mean?
In a nutshell, confirmation is a rite where one confirms their baptismal vows. During confirmation, Catholics are presented with a set of promises to make as Christians: promises to serve God and live out our faith in word and deed. These promises are an extension of baptismal promises. Instead of taking these baptismal vows during confirmation, we publicly reaffirm them by making them before God. This act is meant to demonstrate that we will continue to grow in faith through our entire lives. It’s also a way for us to affirm that we recognize how much God has done for us and intends to do through us over time—and that we’re committed in sharing what he’s given us with others.
2) Why do we need it?
The sacrament of confirmation is one of three sacraments that bring us closest to God, through participation in Christ’s own mission. The words used for confirming someone in baptism are changed from I baptize you in . . . to I confirm you with . . . God gives gifts of grace and power to those who receive confirmation. Those receiving confirmation aren’t choosing to become members of a club—they are becoming soldiers for Christ, now equipped with spiritual armor.
3) How is it like Baptism?
In many ways, confirmation is like baptism. It is a renewal of our baptismal promises and for Catholics who are adults, it’s an opportunity to formally join the Church. Those who receive confirmation also become part of a worldwide community as they take on their own leadership roles within parishes, dioceses and other Catholic organizations. Like Baptism, confirmation is more than just an ordinance – it’s a sacrament that actually has spiritual meaning and effect in our lives.
4) How is it different from Baptism?
First, we should note that confirmation and baptism are two sacraments you must receive to be a practicing Catholic. So what’s so different about them? Think of confirmation as an amplifier, helping to refine your baptismal promises. In confirmation, you again make formal promises before God: 1) to believe all that God has revealed through His Church; 2) to strive for Christian perfection (following Christ’s example); 3) to spread the faith by word and example. Also, in Catholicism it is required that someone be baptized at age 7 in order for one to receive confirmation, while in other denominations it can be done at any age.
5) What are the requirements?
When you were baptized, you were anointed with oil in a physical sign of your commitment to God. When you were confirmed, you received more than just that outward sign; you received a gift from God. The sacrament is considered one of those rites of passage that forms part of your journey toward spiritual maturity. So what do Catholics have to do before they get confirmed? Let’s take a look at seven important requirements for receiving confirmation in a Catholic Church.
6) What kinds of things can I be confirmed in?
Before you ask what you can be confirmed in, it might be better to ask what you aren’t confirmed in! While in most cases confirmation is given between Baptism and First Communion, there’s no real rule that says that someone can’t come to confirmation after they have been baptized and have already received communion. In fact, many Catholics are expected to go through confirmation as adults before receiving sacraments like Holy Orders or Holy Matrimony.
7) Is there anything else I should know about this sacrament?
Confirmation is often thought of as a sort of graduation from baptism, but that’s not quite accurate. Although confirmation marks your entrance into adulthood in many ways, it’s actually an introduction to a whole new way of looking at and living out your Christian life. Rather than a one-and-done type experience, confirmation offers an ongoing invitation to holiness through sacramental grace. Here are seven things you might not know about Catholic confirmation: 1) Anointing with Chrism: The first thing most people think about when they hear confirmation is probably chrismation—the sacrament’s specific method of administration.
The Sacraments are seven holy rituals that Catholics believe God has given to his church. These rituals include Baptism, Penance, Eucharist (Communion), Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick. Each sacrament is a blessing for people during different stages in their lives. Those who have been baptized as infants but have not yet made their first confession must make their first confession before being confirmed in order to receive God’s full grace. This sacrament builds on all that was learned in baptism by uniting Christians with Christ and one another. All adult Catholics can be confirmed.