The Sacrament of Confirmation confers a character. By it the baptized continue their path of Christian initiation. They are enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and are more closely linked to the Church. They are made strong and more firmly obliged by word and deed to witness to Christ and to spread and defend the faith.
Guidelines for Confirmation
This Sacrament is conferred by anointing with Chrism on the forehead, in the laying on of hands and by words prescribed in the approved liturgical books.
The Ordinary minister of Confirmation is a Bishop. A priest can also validly confer this Sacrament if he has the faculty to do so.
Every baptized person who is not confirmed and only such a person is capable of receiving confirmation. Apart from the danger of death to receive confirmation lawfully, a person who has the use of reason must be suitably instructed, properly disposed and able to renew the baptismal promises.
The faithful are bound to receive this Sacrament at the proper time. Parents and pastors of souls, especially Parish Priest, are to see that the faithful are properly instructed. In our parish the candidates for confirmation should complete Book No. 06 and 07 and another book which helps in the proximate preparation.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion. In our Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, it is 16 years. In our parish it is normally conferred every two years, most probably in the month of May.
As far as possible the person to be confirmed is to have a sponsor. The sponsor’s function is to take care that the person confirmed behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the duties inherent in this sacrament.
The names of those confirmed, the minister, the parents, the sponsors and the place and date of the confirmation are to be recorded in the confirmation register of the diocesan curia which is kept in the parochial archive.
In our parish, those who are confirmed should attend the youth catechesis for atleast one year after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.
FAQs on Eucharist & Confirmation
- Can Confirmation be given to the mentally challenged?
With regard to the Sacrament of Confirmation, the requirement for the valid reception of this Sacrament is that the candidate be validly baptised. It is not necessary for the candidate to have the use of reason for validity. Hence, even the profoundly mentally challenged can, and should, receive the Sacrament. (Refer “The Canon Law Letter and Spirit”, Canon 889 §1.)
Courtesy: Archdiocese of Bombay Catholic Communication Centre