The Sacrament of Confirmation
Confirmation enrolment form
When Pentecost day came around, they had all met together when suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a violent wind which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and there appeared to them tongues as of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit …”. (Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-3).
The third of the Sacraments of Initiation that completes an individual’s journey to becoming a full member of the Church, of the Mystical Body of Christ, is Confirmation. Through the Sacrament of Confirmation the young person receives the mark or seal of the Holy Spirit – the very words of the Rite of Confirmation, “N., be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” echoes this. This is a sign of personal authority over the person, of ownership (Catechism 1295). The confirmed Catholic is now an adult in the eyes of the Church. The Sacrament of Confirmation brings about an increase and deepening of the grace that was received during the Sacrament of Baptism. It roots the recipient more deeply in the divine mystery which makes us cry, “Abba! Father.” It unites us more firmly with the Lord Jesus Christ. It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit within us. It makes our bond with the Church more perfect and it gives a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses to the Lord Jesus Christ, to confess his Holy Name boldly and to never be ashamed of his Cross (1303). In the final part of the Rite of Confirmation the presiding bishop touches the candidate on the cheek and says, “Peace be with you.” To this the candidate replies, “And with your spirit.” This sign of peace signifies and demonstrates the bond that now exists between the newly confirmed, the bishop, and all the faithful (1301).
The pattern and form for the preparation for the reception of this Sacrament follows that of preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Application is made in the same way via a form available from the website or the parish office. They and their children will then be asked to publically request this Sacrament at one of the Sunday Masses and then to attend the series of preparation classes held on Saturday mornings between February and May in The John Paul II Centre. The candidates for Confirmation are also required to attend a day-long retreat on a Saturday in May in The John Paul II Centre as well as a rehearsal on the weekend before the celebration of the Sacrament itself. If they are not already regular Sunday Mass goers they will be asked to attend one of the weekend Masses so that they and their child may gain the full spiritual benefit from this Sacrament. The Sacrament of Confirmation is usually celebrated at a Mass on a Thursday evening in May or June close to the great Solemnity of Pentecost. Registration, requesting the sacrament, attendance at the preparation classes, retreat day and rehearsal are compulsory. There is a small fee, payable on booking, to cover the cost of the book that forms the back-bone of the preparation course.
In keeping with the requirements of the diocese, all the children’s sacramental programme volunteers are DBS checked.
Contact: Clare StJohn.