Confirmation of the Faith
Confirmation celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles we hear of the Apostles receiving the Holy Spirit. They had been hiding after Jesus’ death, afraid and uncertain. The coming of the Holy Spirit inspired them and enabled them to start to preach the good news.
We are made members of God’s family at Baptism. At Confirmation, our Baptism is completed or “sealed” by the Holy Spirit and we are called to be Christian witnesses, just like the apostles. The whole of our Christian living and the life of the Church, too, are sustained by the same Spirit.
Who Can Receive?
Any baptised Catholic who wishes to advance their faith can be Confirmed. For young people, this is usually during 5th or 6th class in primary school. Adults who were not confirmed as children, will take part in the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) for their Confirmation.
The taking of a Confirmation name emphasises the new identity of a Christian called to witness 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 sponsor promises to assist the confirmed in the growing of their faith
During the Confirmation ceremony the sponsor stands behind the candidate and places their hand on their shoulder as a sign that they will support them in living out their baptismal promises. The sponsor undertakes to assist the confirmed person in the growing 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.