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 are made 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.
Who Can Receive Confirmation?
Any baptised Catholic wishing to advance on the path of developing their faith. For young people, this is usually part of the 5th/6th class primary school programme. For adults who were not confirmed as children, it means taking part in the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.)
Choosing a Sponsor
A sponsor stands behind the candidate for Confirmation at the Confirmation ceremony and places their hand on the shoulder of the candidate as a sign that they will support them in living out their baptismal promises. However, the role of the sponsor is not just for one day. The sponsor 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.
Oil of Chrism
The oil used is called the Oil of Chrism. It is olive oil mixed with balsam that is blessed by the bishop and priests of the diocese in the Cathedral at the ‘Chrism Mass’ on Holy Thursday. The Sacrament is conferred with the anointing with this ‘Oil of Chrism’ on the forehead as the Bishop says ‘Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit’.
The tradition of taking a new name at Confirmation emphasises the new identity of a Christian being called to witness to their faith. People are encouraged to take the name of a saint or a person from the Bible who inspires them in some way.
Confirmation for adults – The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
We welcome adults into the Catholic Church. The RCIA is a process, which involves the community in journeying with a non-Catholic who has asked to become a Catholic. It involves a number of stages punctuated by liturgical rites to aid and assist the potential person toward the final rite at the Easter Vigil at which time they will become full members of the Roman Catholic Church. The entire process takes several months, but participants are invited to proceed at a pace, which suits them individually.
An invitation is extended to all who want to join this group, which includes people from all parts of the world and journey with them in discovering Christ together.
If you would enjoy exploring more of what we believe in why not join us on a Monday night in the Parish Centre from 7.30-9.00pm. You can also visit the Carrigaline Parish ‘YouTube’ channel to see the video of the RCIA in Carrigaline, Easter 2009 and 2010 at http://www.youtube.com/carrigalineparish