Confirmation • What are its symbols? What does the rite involve? • Where does the sacrament come from? • What are the effects of the sacrament?
Anointing with the Oil of Chrism – is the essential sign of the sacrament • In the Old Testament we read about the anointing and laying on of hands of kings and prophets • Saulwas anointed as King of Israel with the holy oil ( 1 Samuel 10:1) • David , the youngest son of Jesse was anointed with oil by Samuel .( 1 Samuel 16: 13) • Anointing and laying on of hands signified the special mission to which they had been called by God
Jesus is called “the Christ,” meaning “the anointed one,” because of his special mission • The roots of Confirmation are found in the New Testament. For instance, in the Acts of the Apostles. Peter and John go to Samaria to “lay hands” on those who believe in Jesus but had only been baptized, so they could “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The ritual of the laying on or imposition of hands… • …an ancient symbol of transferring power. Through this the confirmand (the one being confirmed, plural confirmandi) receives the strength and power to act as a mature Christian at all times.( Acts 6:6)
The main words of the ritual “Receive the seal of the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father” – the matter or words says by the bishop as he anoints the confirmand with the Oil of Chrism.
The oil on the forehead... • …is a sign that is especially marked with the Holy Spirit that the confirmand will share the work of Christ as prophet, priest, and king.
How can a confirmed teenager be a prophet, priest, and king? • prophet –to be teacher and witness to others in the way the confirmand lives the Christian faith • priest – to take part in the liturgical worship of the Church and the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice • king– to be empowered to become a leader and a man/woman for others
By laying on of the handsand the anointing of the chrism, Jesus Christ empowers and strengthens the confimand to take up his/her mission as a mature and responsible Christian in the world.
The Slap • In the old rite of Confirmation, after anointing the confirmand, the bishop used to slap his or her cheek lightly. • Why? To remind the confirmand that being a Christian can be a test, and to be ready to defend his/her faith to the death, as “a soldier of Christ.” • The slap was removed from the ritual by 1971 (though Mr. Gentry remembers being slapped in 1973). The bishop now just says “Peace be with you.”
The Confirmation Name and the Quiz • When the bishop anoints you, he will use your “Confirmation name.” This is the name of the saint you have chosen ahead of time, to signify your commitment to enter a new phase of your Christian life. • Some bishops will ask you a question before they anoint you. This can be any question about the Church, sacraments, saints, and is usually just a formality. • But in the early days of the Church it was really a test, to prove that those being confirmed had done their homework and were serious about being Christian.
Before you can be confirmed… • …In the Diocese of Orange, you must be able to prove that you have watched “Breaking the Silence.” Why? • …in some parishes, you are required to do a certain number of Christian service hours. Why? • …you need to pick a Confirmation sponsor who will be there with you when you are confirmed. Why? Who should you pick?
What are the effects of the sacrament of Confirmation? 1. Confirmation strengthens and confirms the grace of baptism. 2. Strengthening and confirming the mission to give public witness to Christ and the Church.
Summary: What’s so important about the sacrament of Confirmation? • It is a celebration of our decision to become active members of God’s family. • It is the affirmation of our commitment to follow Jesus. • It strengthens our baptismal commitment, so we are able to take on a mature responsibilities of a Christian.