About the Sacrament

The essence of the sacrament of confirmation is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the life of a Christian. With Baptism and Eucharist, Confirmation shapes us as Catholic Christians. Each of these sacraments focuses on a different aspect of our life as believers: birth, breath and nourishment.

Confirmation “completes” the grace which was initially given when the child was baptized. From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:

• it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, "Abba! Father!";

• it unites us more firmly to Christ;

• it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;

• it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;

• it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.

-Catechism of the Catholic Church 1303

The Second Vatican Council, in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), states that those who are baptized and then confirmed obtain the “special strength of the Holy Spirit” and become “more perfectly bound to the Church,” thereby meaning that “they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed” (#11).

"The real completion of Christian initiation is Eucharist. With our sins washed away and clothed in the Spirit, we come together to the banquet. And the goal of our spiritual striving is for all of us in the Christian community to be brought to perfection as one. The courage and vision to strive for this ultimate unity are the promise and grace of confirmation."

Fr Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M., S.T.D., St. Meinrad's Archabbey, in Indiana USA.