From the Rector/Catechesis, Fourth Sunday of Lent, 3/19/2023
Liturgy of Confirmation
Paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
1293 In treating the rite of Confirmation, it is fitting to consider the sign of anointing and what it
signifies and imprints: a spiritual seal. Anointing, in Biblical and other ancient symbolism, is rich in
meaning: oil is a sign of abundance and joy; it cleanses (anointing before and after a bath) and
limbers (the anointing of athletes and wrestlers); oil is a sign of healing, since it is soothing to
bruises and wounds; and it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength.
1297 The consecration of the sacred chrism is an important action that precedes the celebration of
Confirmation, but is in a certain way a part of it. It is the bishop who, in the course of the Chrism
Mass of Holy Thursday, consecrates the sacred chrism for his whole diocese.
1298 When Confirmation is celebrated separately from Baptism, as is the case in the Roman Rite,
the Liturgy of Confirmation begins with the renewal of baptismal promises and the profession of
faith by the confirmands. This clearly shows that Confirmation follows Baptism. When adults are
baptized, they immediately receive Confirmation and participate in the Eucharist.
1299 In the Roman Rite the bishop extends his hands over the whole group of the confirmands.
Since the time of the apostles this gesture has signified the gift of the Spirit. The bishop invokes the
outpouring of the Spirit in these words: “All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by
water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send
your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and
understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill
them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord.”
1300 The essential rite of the sacrament follows. In the Latin rite, “the sacrament of Confirmation is
conferred through the anointing with chrism on the forehead, which is done by the laying on of the
hand, and through the words: ‘Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti’ [Be sealed with the Gift of
the Holy Spirit.].”
1301 The sign of peace that concludes the rite of the sacrament signifies and demonstrates ecclesial
communion with the bishop and with all the faithful.
This week’s FORMED.org recommendation: We must Go Out: The Sacrament of Confirmation