Confirmation

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Your Child's Preparation for Confirmation

Faith formation preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation is a family endeavour.

For young people, this is usually part of the 6th class primary school programme. The Pastoral Area has a defined programme of study for children and their parents before receiving Confirmation.

  • Please read more about Confirmation below
  • The registration process for the forthcoming celebration (2022) is now live and will close 5th November 2021.
    Register here: Confirmation Registration

Every baptised person not yet confirmed can and should receive the sacrament of Confirmation. For adults who were not confirmed as children, participation in the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) programme is required. 

Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1306

The Rites and Signs of Confirmation

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Faith, along with Baptism and Holy Eucharist. 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 Holy Spirit.

Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
St Augustine

Confirmation celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-13, we read of the Apostles receiving the Holy Spirit. They had been hiding after Jesus’ death, afraid and uncertain. The coming of the Holy Spirit with his gifts inspired them and enabled them to take the step of preaching the good news.

It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.
Because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:

  • it roots us more deeply in our relationship with God the Father as His sons & daughters;
    it unites us more firmly to Christ;
  • it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
  • it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
  • It gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.

The Sacrament is conferred by anointing of the candidates with the ‘Oil of Chrism’ on the forehead as the Bishop or priest says, ‘Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit’. The Oil of Chrism is made from olive oil mixed with balsam that is blessed by the bishop and priests of the diocese at the ‘Chrism Mass’ on Holy Thursday.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1285, 1293-1297, 1300-06

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

“Remember, then, that you received a spiritual seal,

the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the spirit of knowledge and reverence,

the spirit of holy fear.

Keep safe what you received.

God the Father sealed you, Christ the Lord strengthened you and sent the Spirit into your hearts as the pledge of what is to come.”

St. Ambrose

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