The Sacrament of ConfirmationBecoming a witness of Christ to spread and defend the faith by word and deed
A Special Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
On the day of Pentecost, the disciples gathered in the Upper Room experienced an overwhelming anointing of the Holy Spirit that gave them the strength and courage to share their faith in a new and authentic way with the culture. This same gift is available today in the sacrament of Confirmation. By it, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, bonded more perfectly with Christ and the Church, and strengthened to boldly defend and proclaim the faith. Not only that, but the gifts of the Holy Spirit are increased in us. Receiving the sacrament of Confirmation with an open heart is a crucial step in our walk of faith.
The following are the fundamental theological elements of Confirmation which will be covered in the sacramental preparation sessions.
I. God’s Mission to Us: The Father Sends the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation is the sacrament of the Church’s mission, which brings the saving presence of God to the world. The Church’s mission, and our mission within the Church, is a response to God’s mission to us. The Creed is a compact summary of God’s mission to us. Salvation (as summarized in the Creed) is the story of the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
II. The Church: God’s Mission Continues…
The joint mission of the Son of God and the Holy Spirit culminates in the birth of the Church at Pentecost. The Church’s mission continues the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit. We enter the Church by participating in the Paschal Mystery, which the Holy Spirit makes present in the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist). The Holy Spirit forms the Church in the image of Jesus Christ. Confirmation joins us more closely to the Church. We live as members of the Church.
III. Confirmation: Initiation into Mission
The Church is the sacrament of God’s mission to the world. The seven sacraments are based upon the sacramental nature of Jesus Christ and the Church. The Holy Spirit makes the saving work of Christ present in the Church’s sacraments. As a Sacrament of Initiation, Confirmation completes Baptism and points to the Eucharist. The liturgy of Confirmation expresses the effects of the sacrament. The Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is missionary.
IV. The Mission of Discipleship: A Life of Witness
Mission takes the form of discipleship. The mission of discipleship is a response to the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit cultivates virtues by bestowing special gifts.
The Holy Spirit strengthens disciples to testify to Jesus Christ by wordand deed. As the community of Christ’s disciples, the Church consecrates the world to God.
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In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesyJoel 2:28