Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. While Confirmation is often spoken of in relation to the Holy Spirit it is important to realise that the Holy Spirit is alive and active in all the sacraments. The Holy Spirit is called upon the waters of Baptism, the oil (Chrism) of Confirmation and the bread and wine of the Eucharist but each of the sacraments of initiation have their unique emphasis.
The actions of the sacrament of Confirmation are two-fold. Firstly the bishop extends his hands over the heads of those to be confirmed and calls the Holy Spirit upon them. Then the candidates come before the bishop who anoints each one’s forehead with Chrism (which is consecrated, perfumed olive oil) and pronounces the words: ‘Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit’.
It is usually administered by the local bishop or his delegate, except during the Rite of Christian Initiation of adults when the priest who baptises the candidates, confirms them immediately afterwards. At other times, Confirmation is usually celebrated in the context of the Mass. It is preceded by the Liturgy of the Word and Renewal of Baptismal Promises (to show the relationship with Baptism) and leads into the Liturgy of the Eucharist (which shows how the Eucharist brings to completion the sacraments of initiation).
For more information contact the Parish