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Confirmation Day

from Wikipedia, the free encclopedia

Confirmation is a rite in many Christian Churches.

Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and a large portion of Anglicans, view it as a sacrament, which in the East is conferred on infants immediately after baptism, but in the West is usually administered later.

According to canon law for the Latin or Western Catholic Church, the sacrament is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion (generally taken to be about 7), unless the Episcopal Conference has decided on a different age, or there is danger of death or, in the judgement of the minister, a grave reason suggests otherwise (canon 891 of the Code of Canon Law). The number of Episcopal Conferences that have set a later age has diminished in recent decades, and even in those countries a bishop may not refuse to confer the sacrament on younger children who request it, provided they are baptized, have the use of reason, are suitably instructed and are properly disposed and able to renew the baptismal promises (letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published in its 1999 bulletin, pages 537-540).

In Protestant Churches, the rite tends to be seen rather as a mature statement of faith by an already baptised person, usually an adolescent, and thus as a rite of passage, which, though not as big a change as a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, holds a similar meaning.

Several secular, mainly Humanist, organizations direct "civil confirmations" for older children, as a statement of their life stance, an equivalent alternative to traditional religious ceremonies for children of that age.

Some regimes have as a matter of policy fostered the replacement of Christian rituals such as confirmation with non-religious ones. In the historically mainly Protestant German Democratic Republic (East Germany), for example, "the Jugendweihe (youth dedication) gradually supplanted the Christian practice of Confirmation." The Jugendweihe, a concept that first appeared in 1852, is described as "a solemn initiation marking the transition from youth to adulthood that was developed in opposition to Protestant and Catholic Churches' Confirmation."

Confirmation Articles

Catholic Confirmation | Catholic Confirmation Gifts | Catholic Confirmation Name Change | Catholic Confirmation Online | Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church | Free Ware Catholic Confirmation Study Material

Catholic Confirmation

A Catholic Confirmation

Catholic Confirmation often happens in the middle of a Mass; after the sermon and before receiving Communion (Eucharist).
Presentation of the candidate
The names of everybody to be confirmed are read out. Each one stands up so everyone can see and then goes to the Bishop at the front.

The Renewal of Baptismal Promises
Each candidate is asked questions about what they believe. They promise to reject evil. These promises are like an enrolment in to the Catholic Church. It is a bit like joining a club, except that the promises affect the whole of a person's life.

The Laying on of Hands
The Bishop lays his hands on each of the candidates. This is to show them that they have the special job of living like Jesus would want and showing other people how to do the same. The hands are a symbol of the power and strength that will come to them through the Holy Spirit.

The Anointing with Chrism
The Bishop says the candidate's name. This can be a special confirmation name (normally a saint's name) or the name they usually use.

The Bishop then draws the sign of the cross on the forehead of the candidate with the oil of chrism. This oil is an ancient sign of being chosen by God. It is also used in baptism. The sign of the cross shows that the candidate is a child of God. Oil can be used to heal or to give strength.

The Bishop then says "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit," followed by "Peace be with you," and the candidate replies, "And also with you."

More about Holy Oils

In Old Testament times oil was very precious and was used for lamps, in cooking and in medicine. It was a sign of God's love and blessing.

Oil was also placed on the heads of prophets, priests and kings to show that they were set apart by God to do his work.

In the Bible, St. James (The Bible, James chapter 5 verse 14) tells us to annoint the sick with oil. This is still done in churches today, particularly in Catholic and Orthodox churches, and can happen anywhere - in hospital, at home or in church. The oil is called 'the oil of the sick' - it is kept in the vial marked with an 'I'.

Holy Oils - the Oil of the Sick, the Oil of Baptism and the Oil of Chrism

The Oil of Baptism, or Catechumens, is given just before a person is baptised. It is to help them learn the ways of the Lord, and is in the vial marked 'B'.

The Oil of Chrism is used at Confirmation, and at the ordination of Bishops and Priests. It is a sign of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and is in the vial marked 'C'.

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