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
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
” (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.