Confirmation - Lesson 23
Rite of Confirmation
"By Confirmation, Christians, that is, those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which he is filled, so that their lives may give off "the aroma of Christ."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1294
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Luke 4: 16-21
Click on the Bible to find today's scripture passage or find it in your own bible at home.
Jesus was reading a scripture quote from the prophet Isaiah, yet he tells the people that he fulfills this prophetic message.
This was his mission, which in Baptism, becomes our mission too.
At your Confirmation you will receive all that you need to live out the mission you have been given. You will be anointed, marked as a sharer in that mission.
In this lesson, we will dive a little more deeply into the Rite of Confirmation, the words and actions that take place during the sacrament.
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Now let's take a closer look at some of the main parts of the Confirmation mass.
Because Confirmation completes the grace of Baptism, there are many parts of the celebration that tie into that sacrament.
the white garment - "The white garment symbolizes that the person baptized has "put on Christ," has risen with Christ. (CCC #1243)
the light of Christ, present in the Paschal candle / Easter candle - "The candle, lit from the Easter candle, signifies that Christ has enlightened the (newly baptized). In him the baptized are "the light of the world." (CCC #1243)
the sprinkling of Holy Water - "The Church asks God that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be "born of water and the Spirit."(CCC #1238)
the renewal of baptismal promises
The anointing with Sacred Chrism oil also took place at your baptism but will take place again at your Confirmation, conferred this time by the bishop - "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." (CCC #1293)
"By this anointing the confirmand receives the "mark," the seal of the Holy Spirit. A seal is a symbol of a person, a sign of personal authority, or ownership of an object. Hence soldiers were marked with their leader's seal and slaves with their master's. A seal authenticates a juridical act or document and occasionally makes it secret." (CCC #1295)
Confirmation Mass Details
When you arrive (please arrive by 6:30 pm)
Entrance through the main church doors only
All must wear masks
Give your name to the coat room attendant to get you your robe
One person from your household will need to sign in on our contact tracing forms
All must sanitize hands before entering the worship space
Seats reserved for each family will be marked with the candidate's name
Everyone should remain seated and avoid contact with other households as much as possible
Mass begins at 7:00 pm:
Entrance procession - all stand for the opening hymn - singing is discouraged (even with a mask on)
Gloria is sung during the Sprinkling with Holy Water
Liturgy of the Word - 1st reading, Psalm and Gospel
The archbishop blesses the congregation with the Book of the Gospels - all make the sign of the cross
Presentation of the Candidates - Confirmation candidates' names will be called - they should stand and remain standing until all candidates' names have been called and presented to the bishop
Homily - by the archbishop in the form of a dialogue with the candidates
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
candidates are asked to stand
the archbishop will ask "Do you ..." questions - click here to see the words
candidates respond "I do" - clearly and confidently - this is you professing your faith
Laying on of hands
candidates will remain standing
the archbishop and the priest will raise their hands and pray from a suitable distance
Anointing with Chrism
Sponsors will meet candidates in the centre aisle, place right hand over the right shoulder, maintaining 2 metres / 6 feet between other candidates/households.
Candidates with sponsors will come to Archbishop Albert for the anointing with chrism oil; he will confirm using a separate cotton ball dipped into the dish of Sacred Chrism, for each candidate. Archbishop Albert will be wearing a mask. Confirmands, the sponsors, and others coming up are to also wear masks. Change noted: in previous years confirmands were invited to grasp the crosier, this year this gesture will not take place.
Sponsor says: "I present <NAME OF CANDIDATE>"
Archbishop Albert says: “<NAME OF CANDIDATE> Be sealed with the Holy Spirit.” (while anointing)
Candidate responds: “Amen.”
Archbishop Albert will anoint the candidate on the forehead with sacred chrism in the sign of the cross by sacred chrism oil with a cotton ball or cotton swab.
Followed by the anointing a verbal exchange of words for the sign of peace will take place without contact.
Archbishop Albert says: “The Peace of Christ be with you.” or "Peace be with you."
Candidate responds: “And with your spirit.”
Prayers of the faithful
Liturgy of the Eucharist
All remain at their seats - Communion will be brought to you
all keep masks on - raise the bottom of the mask or briefly remove one side of your mask to eat the host
Blessing of the Newly Confirmed
No photos are to be taken during the Confirmation mass
Immediately following the Mass, photos (masks on) with Archbishop LeGatt will be organized.
Please remain seated until your family's candidate is called forward for photos
Our photographer will take one group photo with the Archbishop (masks on). If a confirmand is not comfortable with a group photo, that will be respected.
One photo pose per candidate with Archbishop Albert will be permitted (masks on).
Please decide ahead of time which pose you would like to take with the archbishop
(ie. candidate only with the archbishop, candidate and sponsor with the archbishop, candidate's whole family with the archbishop)
please return robes to the coat room - attendant will take the robe and hang it
Confirmation certificate will be handed to you when you return the robe
Due to the restrictions at this time, there will not be any fellowship or gathering after the Confirmation Mass.
Reflect on the Confirmation Readings
Galatians 5 : 16-17, 22-25
A Reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians:
Brothers and sisters:
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit,
and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh;
for these are opposed to each other,
to prevent you from doing what you want.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There is no law against such things.
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its
passions and desires.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
The Word of the Lord.
St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians focusses a lot on opposites. In this passage he compares living by the flesh and living in the Spirit.
What is “living in the flesh”?
Living in the flesh means following our human desires. The flesh is not referring to our skin and bones, but rather to the sinful human nature that lives within us. The flesh is the part of us that does not want what God wants; it is our weaknesses and sinful desires. “What the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh”(5:17). In other words, your flesh strongly desires the opposite of what the Spirit wants.
What is “living in the Spirit”?
Living in the Spirit means following God’s desires for us. If we do not let ourselves be led by the Spirit of God, the flesh naturally takes control of our lives. So much so, that the flesh “prevents you from doing what you want” (5:17).
What happens when we “live in the Spirit”?
The decision of which way to live makes an impact on all aspects of life. The choices we make produce “fruit” or evidence in our lives. People who choose to follow the flesh can expect their lives to hold the things that way of life produces - such as anger, envy, jealousy and sin. Ultimately, that choice means eternal separation from God.
On the other hand, the choice to follow the Spirit produces very different results for this life and for eternity. The fruit of the Spirit includes different attitudes and actions that become more and more evident in our lives as we follow God’s way. They grow in our lives just as fruit grows on a tree that is properly cared for.
A Reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew:
Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his
cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his
life for my sake will find it.*
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit
his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and
then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Taking up our cross entails denying ourselves and our wants/desires in order to do what God wants us to do. This isn’t just a one-time event either. The Bible says “daily”. This needs to be a conscious effort every single day to put God first instead of myself.
Look at Luke 9:25. This tells me why I shouldn’t be following after the world and my own desires…I lose everything! I can be the greatest person here on earth while I’m here, but what good does that do me? This life is such a short part of eternity. I need to follow after Him daily in order to live my life eternally with Him.
Thank you God that Jesus loved us so much he was willing to take up his cross and suffer for us. Help us to be willing to “take up our own cross” and suffer for Jesus. Thank you God for your great love and for your Holy Spirit who will give us strength and joy even when following you is hard to do. – In Jesus’ name, Amen!