Next Saturday, Bishop Joel Konzen will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to approximately 130 of our teens. Confirmation along with Baptism and the Holy Eucharist comprise the sacraments of Christian initiation. Our Catechism states, “Confirmation completes the grace of Baptism by a special outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which seal or ‘confirm’ the baptized in union with Christ and equip them for active participation in the worship and apostolic life of the Church.”
As previously noted, those who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation spend much time in instruction, reflection, and prayer. Their preparation also includes time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and for a spiritual retreat. Our Catechism reminds the faithful of the need for proper preparation for the sacrament. It indicates, “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 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.”
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.
Pope Francis has often spoken about the importance of the Sacrament of Confirmation in our spiritual journey. As reported in the media outlet, “Vatican News”, he stated, “The rite of Confirmation recalls and renews the promises made at Baptism and invokes a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” He further noted that, “Sealed with the Holy Spirit, we are configured more closely to Christ and strengthened to bear witness to him in our world.”
This “Prayer for Confirmation Candidates” asks the Lord to guide those who will be receiving this important sacrament.
“Lord, You send out Your Spirit to touch the hearts of all people,
so that 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 You have begun in them.
As we prepare these children for Confirmation, make each one of 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, we are encouraged to continue to pray for these young men and women as they get ready to receive this great sacrament and take this profound step on their journey of faith.