Confirmation celebrates the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit on a baptised person, completing and strengthening the grace given by the Spirit in Baptism. It marks the Christian as a follower of Christ and a full member of the Church.
In our parish, children normally celebrate Confirmation in Sixth Class. Much of the preparation is carried out in school with the parish offering a complimentary preparation programme.
Here is an information leaflet that you might find helpful in understanding confirmation
What Happens at Confirmation?
At Confirmation, the Bishop/priest prays that the gifts given by the Holy Spirit for the living out of the Christian life will grow in each person being confirmed. These are the gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Right Judgement, Courage, Reverence and Wonder and Awe in God’s presence. Growth in these gifts is a lifetime’s experience and leads the Christian to share in the mission of Jesus Christ. Young people preparing for Confirmation are encouraged to be involved in some form of service in their parish.
These gifts are given to us by God to:
Help us in our daily lives to make right choices.
Give us what we need to play an active role in the Church and in building up the Kingdom of God.
Become a mature Christian, taking responsibility for my own faith and my relationship with God.
Fruits of the Holy Spirit
- Self Control
are the visible signs or evidence that someone is living their life inspired by the Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The decision to be confirmed is not one to be taken lightly, for it involves both faith and commitment.
In Narraghmore and Moone Parish the Sacrament is administered by the Priests of the Parish with the blessing of the Bishop mainly due to the very large number of children. This allows for smaller and more intimate celebrations, which also emphasises the Christian Community’s involvement.
Who Can Receive?
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.)
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 (subject to the notes here).
How Can I Prepare?
Preparation for Confirmation has many parts. For those who are being confirmed through their school there is:
The preparation undertaken by teachers and religious instruction.
The Parish Preparation Programme – which includes: Completion of a Commitment Certificate promising to prepare as best as you are able, Commitment Ceremony, Visits to school by members of the parish team.
Regular school visits to church for mass etc..
Ceremony of Light (usually about 10 days prior to Confirmation)
For those who are not being confirmed as part of school.
- A commitment to daily personal prayer.
- Putting one’s gifts and talents at the service of the community.
- Attending preparation session(s) with members of the Parish Team.
For all of those seeking Confirmation regular attendance at Sunday Mass is expected.
Prayer is an essential part of preparation
Try to get to know Jesus better, take a few minutes each day for you and Jesus to be alone and talk to him in your own words, then take some time to be silent and listen – this is prayer.
Read the Gospel story from Sunday mass and think about how the message might relate to your life.
Choosing a sponsor
To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:
- Be appointed by the candidate, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, or failing these, by the parish priest or the minister; to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role have the intention of fulfilling it.
- Be not less than sixteen years of age, unless a different age has been stipulated by the diocesan Bishop, or unless the parish priest or the minister considers that there is a just reason for an exception to be made.
- Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken.
- Not labor under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared.
- Not be either the father or the mother of the candidate.
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.
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’.
If you have been Baptised and have not yet been confirmed but would now like to seek confirmation, please contact any member of the parish team, we will be glad to help in any way we can.