Confirmation celebrates the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit on a baptised person, completing and strengthening the grace given by the Spirit in Baptism. It marks the Christian as a follower of Christ and a full member of the Church.
In our parish, children normally celebrate Confirmation in Sixth Class. Much of the preparation is carried out in school with the parish offering a complimentary preparation programme.
At confirmation the Bishop/Priest prays that the gifts given by the Holy Spirit for the living out of the Christian life will grow in each person being confirmed. These are the gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Right Judgement, Courage, Reverence and Wonder and Awe in God’s presence. Growth in these gifts is a lifetime’s experience and leads the Christian to share in the mission of Jesus Christ. Young people preparing for Confirmation are encouraged to be involved in some form of service in their parish.
The decision to be confirmed is not one to be taken lightly, for it involves both faith and commitment.
Confirmation is celebrated by our Bishop Denis Nulty or our Parish Priest.
Confirmation in the faith
Confirmation celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, verses 1 to 13, we read of the Apostles receiving the Holy Spirit. They had been hiding after Jesus’ death, afraid and uncertain. The coming of the Holy Spirit with his gifts inspired them and enabled them to take the step of preaching the good news, with renewed courage and conviction openly on the streets of Jerusalem. We are made members of God’s family at Baptism. At Confirmation, our Baptism is completed or “sealed” by the Holy Spirit and we are called to be Christian witnesses, just like the Apostles. The whole of our Christian living and the life of the Church, too, are sustained by the same Spirit.
Who can Receive?
Any baptised Catholic wishing to advance on the path of developing their faith. For young people, this is usually part of the 5th/6th class primary school programme. For adults who were not confirmed as children, it means taking part in the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults. (R.C.I.A.)
A Sponsor stands behind the candidate for Confirmation at the Confirmation ceremony and places their hand on the shoulder of the candidate as a sign that they will support them in living out their baptismal promises. However, the role of the sponsor is not just for one day. The Sponsor undertakes to assist the confirmed person in growing in the fullness of their faith and in their membership of the Catholic Church.
A person qualifies as a sponsor by being a reasonably mature adult, who is at least 16 years old, and has already received the Sacraments of Initiation, (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) themselves. The Confirmation sponsor may be one of the people who was a sponsor at Baptism (subject to the notes here).
The tradition of taking a new name at Confirmation emphasised the new identity of a Christian being called to witness to their faith. People are encouraged to take the name of a Saint, a person from the Bible, or the name of a person whose faith has inspired them.
The Oil used is called the Oil of Chrism. It is olive oil mixed with balsam that is blessed by the bishop and priests of the diocese in the Cathedral at the ‘Chrism Mass’ on Holy Thursday. The Sacrament is conferred with the anointing with this ‘Oil of Chrism’ on the forehead as the bishop says ‘Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit’.
Confirmation Programme 2017 -2018
- Tuesday 21st November – Parents Meeting in Boys National School at 7.30pm.
- Sat 9th Dec. 7pm Mass – Enrolment / Commitment Ceremony
- January – Training night for Parents Committee – Parish Centre
- 4 Fridays of February – “You shall be my Witness” Programme in the Parish Centre at 7.30pm.
- 24th February – ‘Ceremony of Light’ for Boys National School – 7pm Mass
- 3rd March – ‘Ceremony of Light’ for Girls National School – 7pm Mass
- 4th March – ‘Ceremony of Light’ for Gael Scoil – 11.30am Mass
- 10th March – ‘Ceremony of Light’ for Scoil Bhríde – 7pm Mass
- 11th March – Penitential Service at 7.30pm.
- 14th April 12 Noon – Boys National & Girls National Schools
- 21st April 12 Noon – Scoil Bhríde
- 19th May 12 Noon – Gael Scoil.
Parish Sacramental Co-ordinators: Geraldine Leech & Laura McKeon