Lots of people have a vague idea about what’s involved in confirmation. However, many are unaware of the details and meaning of the confirmation ceremony itself.
Confirmation builds on what was started in baptism and nourished in Holy Eucharist, completing an individual’s initiation into the Christian community. It is a rite at which people seek the blessing of the Holy Spirit for their growth as Christians. Confirmation tends to take place during a Mass given by the bishop.
It is acknowledged that young people go through many stages of change throughout their youth. Confirmation gives them the opportunity to make their own declaration of faith and commit their life to Christ.
At baptism, promises are made on a child’s behalf. At confirmation, the individual confirms their faith for themselves, and publicly before family, friends and the wider Church. While the individual commits to a Christian way of life, the community promises to help them on the journey of faith. It is common for young teenagers to have a confirmation ceremony, but you can choose to make this faith commitment at any age.
The Ceremony of Confirmation
During the ceremony of confirmation, the individuals awaiting confirmation are summoned. They then renew the promises made at their baptism. This helps to highlight the connection between baptism and confirmation.
The laying on of hands then takes place. This involves the candidate kneeling before the bishop, who reads their chosen confirmation name (usually a Saint’s name). To call down the power and blessing of God, a sponsor places their right hand on the shoulder of the candidate and the bishop lays his hands on their head. As Jesus laid his hands on people to heal and bless them, the laying on of hands became known as a sign of blessing and that someone was being chosen to do God’s work.
Next, the bishop anoints the candidate with chrism — or holy oil. It shows that the candidate is being strengthened by the Holy Spirit, that they are receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and that they are being blessed by God. While proclaiming “be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit”, the bishop then makes a sign of the cross on the candidate’s forehead. His words echo those used in the Old Testament “I have called you by name. You are mine”. They will then say “peace be with you”. The candidate will repeat this back to the bishop.
Through confirmation, an individual experiences a closer union with the Church. After confirmation, one is called upon to be an active participant in the Church.
New Generations Confirmation Wear
If you or a loved one is preparing for confirmation, we are here to help with your formalwear needs.
At New Generations, we stock a wonderful range of confirmation dresses. From soft tulles and delicate laces to sleek satins and beautiful embellishments, we have a wide selection of fabrics and designs. We provide one-to-one appointments for fittings to help you find the perfect dress for your confirmation ceremony. Plus, we even have a school list of confirmation dresses so you can be sure no one else in the class will be wearing the same outfit.