The Meaning of Confirmation
So, what is the meaning of confirmation? In the Sacrament of Confirmation, we receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. It confirms our baptism and strengthens baptismal grace. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Through Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit.”
Five major points stand out as outcomes of receiving the sacrament.
- We are united more firmly to Christ.
- The sacrament increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us.
- It renders our bond with the Church more perfectly.
- We receive the special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
- The sacrament awakens a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church and the parish community.
The decision to receive the sacrament must not be forced because there will not be any validity. This is a personal decision and must be clearly understood by parents and sponsors. In such cases, children must be given time and instruction until they are ready to make their commitment. We stress the need for children to be raised in the love of the Lord and His Church, so when the time comes for them to make the commitment of confirmation, they are prepared and willing to do it.
The candidate is confirming:
- I believe in the promises of baptism made by my parents.
- I want to be a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of His Church.
- I want to walk with Christ for the rest of my life.
- I will abide by the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai and the two great commandments of love given by His son, Jesus Christ.
- I want to be an active member of the Catholic Church, the Church instituted by Jesus and promise to follow its precepts and teachings.
- I acknowledge that I understand the Catholic faith and embrace it as my way of life.
Once the candidate confirms the above:
- The Lord Jesus Christ receives and confirms the candidate as His disciple and apostle.
- The Holy Spirit confirms His presence in the candidate as His temple and releases the full force of His gifts on him.
- The Church confirms that the candidate is accepted as a full member and embraces him as such.
In essence, this constitutes a full covenant between the Lord Jesus Christ and the candidate for the rest of the candidate’s life and even into eternity. We could say that this is a covenant through which the candidate marries Christ. This covenant becomes the very foundation of the Christian life of the candidate.