Next Saturday Bishop Shlesinger will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation at Saint Brigid to approximately 150 of our teens. Confirmation along with Baptism and the Holy Eucharist comprise the Sacraments of Christian Initiation.
Our Catechism reminds the faithful of the need for proper preparation for the Sacrament. It states, “Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a livelier familiarity with the Holy Spirit – His actions, His gifts, and responsibilities of the Christian life. To this end, catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community.”
Those who will receive this Sacrament have spent much time in instruction, reflection, and prayer. Their preparation also included time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and for a spiritual retreat. As part of their preparation, candidates for Confirmation are asked to select the name of a saint as their Confirmation name. The saint can serve as an example of Christian living. Candidates also receive the spiritual guidance and dedicated support of a sponsor who walks with them on their Christian journey.
Pope Francis has noted the importance of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the spiritual growth in the life of a Christian. He reflected on Confirmation at one of his General Audiences and stated: “The rite of Confirmation recalls and renews the promises made at Baptism and invokes a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus received the outpouring of the Spirit at His baptism in order to carry out His messianic mission, the Church prays that we too may receive the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that enable us to help the Body of Christ grow in unity and missionary zeal.” He also noted that, “
The following “Confirmation Prayer” from the media outlet, “Prayerist” asks the Lord to open the hearts of candidates for Confirmation to the Holy Spirit:
Lord, You send out Your Spirit to touch the hearts of all people, so they may believe in You and in Jesus whom You sent. Look kindly on all candidates for Confirmation as they listen to Your voice. Open their hearts to Your Spirit and bring to fulfillment the good work that You have begun in them.
As we prepare these children for Confirmation, make us an instrument of Your love. Teach us to appreciate what is holy in others, and to be patient with what we do not understand. Deepen our faith in the Gospel and help us to pass it on by our example. We pray that You will continue to guide us and sustain us. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, and on the words of Pope Francis, and as we get ready to celebrate this great Sacrament, we are encouraged, as a community of faith, to continue to pray for our Confirmation candidates, their coordinators, and sponsors.