What is confirmation?
Confirmation, together with Baptism and Eucharist, form the Sacraments of Initiation that are all intimately connected. 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 prophets of the Old Testament foretold that God’s Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to sustain his mission. Their prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus the Messiah was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus on the occasion of his baptism by John. Jesus’ entire mission occurred in communion with the Spirit. Before he died, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and to the entire Church. After his death, he was raised by the Father in the power of the Spirit.
The New Testament reports many manifestations of the Holy Spirit, two of which we note here. St. John’s Gospel describes an outpouring of the Spirit on Easter night when Jesus breathed on the Apostles and said, “Receive the holy Spirit” (Jn 20:22). St. Luke’s Acts of the Apostles gives another account of the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ (cf. Acts 2). Filled with the Holy Spirit, the Apostles proclaimed God’s mighty deeds. Peter preached that this coming of the Spirit fulfilled the prophecy of Joel: “In the last days . . . I will pour out a portion of my spirit / upon all flesh” (Acts 2:17; cf. Jl 3:1).
Those who believed in the Apostles’ preaching were baptized and received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. The Apostles baptized believers in water and the Spirit. Then they imparted the special gift of the Spirit through the laying on of hands. “The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church” (CCC, no. 1288, citing Pope Paul VI, Divinae Consortium Naturae, no. 659). By the second century, Confirmation was also conferred by anointing with holy oil, which came to be called sacred Chrism. “This anointing highlights the name ‘Christian,’ which means ‘anointed’ and derives from that of Christ himself whom God ‘anointed with the Holy Spirit’” (CCC, no. 1289, citing Acts 10:38).
Candidates are expected to go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. The grace received through the Eucharist is indispensable in preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. *Parents are responsible for making sure their teens attend weekly Mass.*
- Encounter. In Confirmation Year 1, we are focused on providing opportunities for encountering Jesus Christ and then teach candidates the tools needed to help sustain their relationship with Christ. We will accomplish this through a retreat in the fall and then prayer workshops once a month in the spring. Candidates are required to attend other parish events to grow in prayer, relationship and service.
- Light the Fire. In Confirmation Year 2, we are focused on New Life in the Holy Spirit. Continuing on Year 1 encounters, we aim to make disciples and encourage candidates to live in the Freedom Christ has to offer through New Life through the Holy Spirit. As the Sacrament of Confirmation gets closer, this will be a more intense time of preparation, with sessions twice a month. In these sessions, candidates will learn more about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and our Church.
Year 2: Each candidate will take on an ongoing form of service during our weekend liturgies. Options are helping with the nursery or children’s liturgy of the word. Altar serving, reading, greeting, ushering, lecturing, music ministry.
For further preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation, both year 1 and year 2 programs include a retreat.
Confirmation 2 will have an overnight retreat at Association Retreat Center from Friday, February 28th – Sunday, March 1st.
To register, click here
Sponsors (to be chosen by February Year 1)
Each candidate will need to choose a sponsor. A sponsor must be:
- a practicing Catholic who has been confirmed and is at least 16 years old;
- a good role model for Catholic Christian living;
- someone with whom the candidate can discuss their faith.
- Sponsors do not need to live locally, as Sponsor projects can be done remotely and someone can even stand-in for a sponsor at the Confirmation ceremony itself if needed.
- Since Confirmation is tied to the sacrament of baptism, godparents can be a good option.
- As per Canon Law, parents may not be sponsors.
Sponsors will meet with candidates throughout the 2nd year in order to complete projects. Sponsors should be available to help guide the candidate as they grow in faith, and if at all possible, attend Confirmation. There is special information for Sponsors that can be found at www.stjohnnb.com
Confirmation Name (to be chosen by January of Year 2)
Candidates will need to choose a Confirmation Name. This can be the name of a saint they admire or their own baptismal name. More information on choosing a Confirmation name is available within the Saint Report assignment in the Candidate Workbook.
A copy of the candidate’s baptismal certificate is necessary if the candidate was baptized somewhere other than St. John’s. If this applies to you, please send us a copy of the certificate ASAP. (If you don’t have a copy at home, you can call the church where you were baptized and request another copy. Please do not give us your original!) This documentation is necessary for the candidate to be confirmed. This will be handed in with the Confirmation 2 registration in the Spring of Confirmation 1.
- In the event of snow, severe thunderstorms, tornado, etc., you can call 651-633-8333 x1218 and there will be a message letting you know if the class will be canceled or not.
- If conditions do not seem safe enough for you to travel, please do not come to the session! We will defer to your judgment as parents as to the safety of your children. Absences due to weather will be considered “emergency” absences.
- When there is a question of whether or not to hold class due to weather, we will err on the side of having it. Again, do not come if it is not safe for you to travel.
For questions or more information, please contact Mikayla Anderson