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THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
Definition • Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. The sacramental rite admitting baptized persons to full membership. • is a rite of initiation in Christian churches
normally carried out through anointing and/or the laying on of hands and prayer for the purpose of bestowing the Gift of the Holy Spirit. • Within Christianity, confirmation is seen as the sealing of the covenant made in Holy Baptism. Symbolism
Very early, the better to signify the gift of the Holy Spirit, an anointing with perfumed oil (chrism) was added to the laying on of hands. • This anointing highlights the name "Christian," which means "anointed" and derives from that of Christ himself whom God "anointed with the Holy Spirit”. This rite of anointing has continued ever since Symbolism Cont’d
Oil is a sign of abundance and joy; it cleanses (anointing before and after a bath) and limbers (the anointing of athletes and wrestlers); oil is a sign of healing, since it is soothing to bruises and wounds; and it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength. • By this anointing the confirmed receives the "mark," the seal of the Holy Spirit. Symbolism Cont’d
Differences Between Forms of Christianity • Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and many Anglicans view Confirmation as a sacrament. • In protestant churches, the rite tends to be seen rather as a mature statement of faith by an already baptized person
History of the Sacrament - Pentecost 2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. ACTS 2:2-4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIJrk9-dtRE
When Jesus resurrected from the dead he visited the apostles who were filled with the Holy Spirit (flames on foreheads) the apostles began to proclaim "the mighty works of God," and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age. • From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ's will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism. History of the Sacrament - Pentecost
Effects of Confirmation - it unites us more firmly to Christ; - it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us; - it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
How to Prepare • Confirmation is given only once • To receive Confirmation one must be in a state of grace. • One should receive the sacrament of confession in order to be cleansed for the gift of the Holy Spirit. • More intense prayer should prepare one to receive the strength and graces of the Holy Spirit with docility and readiness to act. • Candidates for Confirmation, as for Baptism, fittingly seek the spiritual help of a sponsor. To emphasize the unity of the two sacraments, it is appropriate that this be one of the baptismal godparents.
Perhaps the biggest function of confirmation is that it signals that you have commenced your own “faith journey”. Your religion is now yours. By waiting until you are in a “state of grace”, you are allowed to enter into the sacrament by your own free will.
Activity: Draw a Map of your Faith Journey What are the steps? What is the destination?