Confirmation

Confirmation is arranged variously, depending on age, whether one was Baptized in the Catholic Faith, and whether one is confirmed in the Ordinary Form, or the Extraordinary Form.

In the Extraordinary Form, the Pastor is usually given delegation to perform Confirmations, according to the Archbishop’s discernment. Other arrangements may be made.

Contact the Parish office or speak with one of the Priests or the Parish Catechetical Leader Mrs. Christina Uhlich.

From the Confirmation Policies of the Archdiocese of New Orleans:

CELEBRATION OF CONFIRMATION

  • Confirmation is celebrated through anointing with chrism on the forehead which is done with the imposition of hands, and through the words prescribed in the liturgical books.
  • For the valid celebration of confirmation, the chrism used must be that which has been blessed by a bishop.
  • Confirmation is to be celebrated in a church or oratory, during the celebration of Mass.
  • Confirmation may be celebrated elsewhere when there is the danger of death.
  • Confirmation may be celebrated in other suitable places with the permission of the Archbishop or the Vicar General.

MINISTER OF CONFIRMATION

  • The ordinary minister of confirmation is a bishop.
  • Baptized Catholics are to be confirmed only by a bishop. Adult Catholics who are to be confirmed are to celebrate their confirmation at the annual celebration of confirmation when the bishop visits, or at the annual archdiocesan celebration of adult confirmation.
  • Priests may confirm any baptized person who is in danger of death.
  • Priests are to confirm those persons who they welcome into full communion with the Catholic Church.

SPONSORS
As far as possible a sponsor for the one to be confirmed should be present at the confirmation. It is desirable that one of the baptismal sponsors should be selected to be the sponsor at confirmation.
To be a sponsor for confirmation, a person must:

  • Be designated by the person to be confirmed;
  • Be at least sixteen years old;
  • Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and who leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role of sponsor;
  • Not be bound by any canonical penalty;
  • Not be the parents, natural or adoptive, of the person being confirmed.

CONFIRMATION GARB
The traditional vesture for the newly baptized is a white robe and there is no tradition for vesting neophyte with a stole. The stole remains a symbol of ordained ministry, not a sign of the universal priesthood of the baptized. To show the relationship between baptism and confirmation, confirmands may be vested in a white robe, if any vesture is to be selected.

AGE OF CONFIRMATION
It is the policy of the archdiocese that Confirmation is to be celebrated in the eleventh grade. All parishes within the archdiocese are to adhere to this grade in establishing preparation programs for confirmation. This policy does not affect those persons of catechetical age, children or adults, who are received into the Church through the RCIA process. According to the rite, all three sacraments of initiation are to be celebrated in the same ceremony.

CONFIRMATION OF BAPTIZED PERSONS
Clergy and others involved in the RCIA are reminded that RCIA does not give priests the faculty to confirm baptized Catholics. Such confirmations are invalid, except in danger of death.

The RCIA does give priests the faculty to confirm persons who are welcomed into the Catholic Church. Therefore, priests are to confirm non-Catholics who are welcomed into full communion with the Catholic Church, as well as unbaptized persons age 7 or older.

It should be noted that the confirmation celebration in the Episcopal or Protestant denominations is not recognized as valid by the Catholic Church. Confirmations in the Orthodox Churches are recognized as valid.

A Brief History of Confirmation

Peter and John, while visiting the Christian community in Samaria, found that the people there “had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” and had not received Confirmation.  So Peter and John “imposed hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:16-17)

Confirmation is celebrated as the sacrament of the Holy Spirit, the completion of baptism, and a Christian’s witness to a mature faith. In the sequence of the sacraments, Confirmation was placed after Reconciliation and Communion. Religious education and service projects allow the confirmands to become more aware of the social dimension of Christian responsibility.

Confirmation takes place in the parish in the presence of the assembly and the whole community is enriched by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The assembly symbolized the presence of the kingdom of God on earth.

Ordinarily the local bishop anoints each confirmand on the forehead with chrism and seals the confirmed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit. He then extends the sign of peach to the confirmed.

Isaiah 11:2-3 lists the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and wonder in God’s presence (also called fear of the Lord).  St. Paul lists the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness generosity, tolerance, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, continence, and chastity.