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What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is the sacrament that completes Baptism, in it the gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon us. Anyone who freely decides to live a life as God’s child and asks for God’s Spirit under the signs of the imposition of hands and anointing with chrism receives the strength to witness to God’s love and might in word and deed. He is now a full-fledged, responsible member of the Catholic Church.

When a coach sends a soccer player onto the playing field, he puts his hand on his shoulder and gives him final instructions. We can understand Confirmation in a similar way. A hand is placed upon us. We step out onto the field of life. Through the Holy Spirit we know what we have to do and we have been given the power to do it. He has motivated us. His mission resounds in our ears. We sense his help. We will not betray his trust or disappoint him; we will win the game for him. We just have to want to do it and listen to him.

Confirmation, like Baptism and the Eucharist, is one of the three sacraments of initiation of the Catholic Church. As the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples who were gathered on Pentecost, so the Holy Spirit comes to every baptized person for whom the Church requests the gift of the Holy Spirit. It secures and strengthens him to be a living witness to Christ.

 

(*) YOUCAT, Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2013

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