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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery


not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been

baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid

their hands on them and they received the Holy

Spirit” (




Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacra-

ment which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us

more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us

more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the

Church, associate us more closely with her mission,

and help us bear witness to the Christian faith inwords

accompanied by deeds.


Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or

indelible character on the Christian’s soul; for this reason

one can receive this sacrament only once in one’s life.


In the East this sacrament is administered immediately

after Baptism and is followed by participation in the

Eucharist; this tradition highlights the unity of the

three sacraments of Christian initiation. In the Latin

Church this sacrament is administered when the age

of reason has been reached, and its celebration is ordi-

narily reserved to the bishop, thus signifying that this

sacrament strengthens the ecclesial bond.


A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the

age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of

grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament,

and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and

witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community

and in temporal affairs.


The essential rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead

of the baptized with sacred chrism (in the East other

sense-organs as well), together with the laying on of the

minister’s hand and the words: “

Accipe signaculum doni

Spiritus Sancti

” (Be sealedwith theGift of theHoly Spirit.)

in the Roman rite, or:

Signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti


seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit) in the Byzantine rite.


When Confirmation is celebrated separately from

Baptism, its connection with Baptism is expressed,

among other ways, by the renewal of baptismal prom-

ises. The celebration of Confirmation during the

Eucharist helps underline the unity of the sacraments

of Christian initiation.