THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the second of the three sacraments which initiate us into the Church.
“Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people. Confirmation signs us with the gift of the Spirit and makes more completely the image of the Lord and fills us with the Holy Spirit so that we may bear witness in the world. Eucharist brings us to the table of the Lord for our eternal life and shows forth the unity of God’s people.”
(Christian Initiation, Introduction)
In the early church all three initiation sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) were received at the same Easter Vigil. Through the centuries these sacraments have become separated and administered over a period of years. All three sacraments should be received before celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage and must be received before ordination to priesthood or taking of vows as a sister or brother in religious community.
The parish community supports and assists parents in preparing their teens for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation. We follow the Guidelines of the Diocese of Richmond. In this Diocese, teens may prepare for and receive the Sacrament in the 10th, 11th or 12th grades.
Each family and each teen are unique and at different places on their faith journey. Your teen should attend Mass regularly and express a desire to prepare for and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Attending Christian Formation classes and youth group may also help in the spiritual journey.
Requirements for Confirmation preparation:
Weekly attendance at Mass
Faithful attendance at Sunday night Christian Formation classes or attendance at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School
Attendance at a separate, direct Confirmation preparation class (12 hours)
Participation in at least one parish youth retreat
Teens are also invited to attend youth group meetings and participate in all other parish youth activities, such as service projects
Requirements for Confirmation Sponsors:
A sponsor must be a baptized, practicing Catholic in good standing, at least 18 years old. Parents are not eligible to be sponsors. The sponsor does not need to be a member of Holy Spirit, but must submit a letter from their pastor saying they are eligible to be a sponsor. According to Church law, if possible, it is desirable that the sponsor be one of the original godparents. The sponsor meets at least once a month with the candidate.
Register in the Spring for the summer session or in the Spring and Summer for the fall session. Youth must first be registered for Christian Formation classes at Holy Spirit or enrolled at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School. A separate Confirmation registration form MUST be completed and submitted to the parish office along WITH a copy of the candidate’s Baptismal certificate.
Confirmation is usually held sometime between Easter and Pentecost. The bishop’s office sets the date. The teens from two parishes are usually confirmed together and we alternate worship spaces.
Those teens who were confirmed at an earlier age participate in this preparation for adult Christian life with their peers who are not yet confirmed: and on the day of Confirmation they renew their baptismal vows and recommit themselves to the witness and ministry expected of all adults in our church.
Those who were not baptized in infancy and who are seven or older and now seek baptism celebrate all three sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil, then in their teen years prepare for renewal of Confirmation with their peers.
Adult Confirmation: The parish offers a special catechetical process for adult “confirmands” – those individuals seeking the Sacrament of Confirmation and also are at least 18 years of age. The process is similar to the RCIA process with an emphasis on developing a more intimate union with Christ and a more dynamic relationship through the Holy Spirit so that one assumes greater responsibilities in one’s Christian life and in Christ’s church. Adults who have never been confirmed celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at Pentecost.
For more specific information on the Sacrament of Confirmation, call:
For Teens: Katrina Cruz, Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry – 468-3600, ext. 108
For Adults: Deacon Bob Smithberger – 468-3600, ext. 109
All adult Catholics should be confirmed in their faith. In the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.
The Church teaches that: “the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. … By the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit.” CCC, # 1285
The parish offers a special catechetical process for adult confirmands (those individuals seeking the Sacrament of Confirmation). The process is similar to the R.C.I.A. process with an emphasis on developing a more intimate union with Christ and a more dynamic relationship with the Holy Spirit so that one can assume greater responsibilities in one’s Christian life and in Christ’s Church. Typically, the sacrament of Confirmation for adults is conferred on the feast of Pentecost.
Preparation for the sacrament usually takes several months and involves a number of activities:
Participation in catechetical sessions.
Participation in “days of prayer.”
Active participation in one of the parish’s ministries or small Christian communities during the period of preparation.
Throughout the period of preparation, meetings with one’s sponsor to discuss one’s relationship with Jesus and the Church.
Attendance at Sunday Eucharistic liturgies.
See the Adult Confirmation schedule for more details.
If you have been baptized but not confirmed, you should contact the parish office or Deacon Bob Smithberger (757) 468-3600 ext. 109) for additional information.