What is the Sacrament of Confirmation?

What happens when you are Confirmed?

“And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit”  (Acts 2:3-4)
(You can find some prayers to help you prepare for the Sacrament by scrolling further down.)

What is the Sacrament of Confirmation?

 (a)    Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments.
 (b)    When we were baptized:
       – the stain of original sin was washed from our souls;
       – a special character was imprinted on our souls which re-shaped our soul and made it more like God, and which made our soul fit and ready to receive sanctifying grace;
       – we were given sanctifying grace (God’s life living in our souls) making us Temples of the Holy Spirit;
       – and we became sons or daughters of God and members of His family, the Church.
 (c)    When we are Confirmed, God gives us the Holy Spirit to reaffirm or reinforce these gifts. In other words, God confirms within us the gifts He gave us at our Baptism. We say these gifts are deepened.
 (d)    When we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation we are given the capacity, (or the ability), to become true witnesses of Christ and to stand up for the Truth as soldiers of Christ. We become spiritually mature.
In other words, the Sacrament of Confirmation is a gift from God which enables us to become witnesses to the Truth.
We choose a patron saint to help us to become a true witness to Christ.
 O heavenly patron, Saint N., in whose name I glory, pray ever to God for me: strengthen me in my faith; establish me in virtue; guard me in the conflict; that I may vanquish the foe malign and attain to everlasting glory. Amen.

What exactly do we receive in the Sacrament of Confirmation?

We receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:
 1.  Wisdom helps a person to value the things of heaven.
 2.  Understanding enables someone to grasp the truths of religion.
 3.  Counsel helps us to choose correctly the best way to serve God.
 4.  Fortitude (or power) is the spiritual strength which helps us to overcome the difficulties which could stop us from living the Faith.
 5.  Knowledge helps us to see what path to follow (while Counsel helps us to choose to follow that path).
 6.  Godliness (or holiness or piety) fills a person with confidence in God and an eagerness to love and serve Him.
 7.  Fear of the Lord makes a person aware of God’s might and sovereignty, and enables us to gaze at Him with wonder and awe, and to respect His laws.
 “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord”   (Isaiah 11:2-3)

  And what are the effects of the Sacrament?

 (a)   When we are confirmed we receive the Holy Spirit like Our Lady and the Apostles did at Pentecost (see Acts 2:1-15).
 (b)   This gift of the Holy Spirit impresses an indelible character on the soul, which reshapes our soul to be more like Christ.
 (c)   Confirmation makes us more deeply a son or daughter of God and binds us more firmly and more closely to Christ and to His Church.
 (d)   The Sacrament reinvigorates the gifts of the Holy Spirit received in Baptism. In other words, it gives us a new spiritual strength and energy so that we can grow in virtue, and so that the fruits of the Holy Spirit can flourish in our lives.
(e)   It gives us the capacity and the strength to become true witnesses to the Catholic faith; it equips us as soldiers of Christ.

 The twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit

                                                         Charity                  Kindness                Faithfulness
                                                         Joy                          Goodness              Modesty
                                                         Peace                     Generosity             Self-control
                                                         Patience                Gentleness             Chastity
                                                                              See Galatians 5:22-23

Some prayers to know by heart

Our Father     Hail Mary     Glory be
 The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell. On the thrid day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from whence He shall come to Judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
 Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V.  Send forth Thy spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray:  O God, who has taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
 The Memorare
Remember, O most loving Virgin Mary, that it is a thing unheard of that anyone ever had recourse to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession, and was left forsaken. Inspired by this confidence in thy goodness, therefore, I fly unto thee O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand a sorrowful sinner. Despise not my words, O Mother of the Word Incarnate, but in thy clemency hear and answer my prayer.
 Prayer to my Guardian Angel
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
 Act of Faith
O my God, I believe in you, and all your Church teaches, because you have said it, and your word is true.
Act of Hope
O my God, I hope in you for grace and for glory, because of your promises, your mercy and your power.
Act of Charity
O my God, because you are so good, I love you with all my heart, and for your sake I love my neighbour as myself.
 Act of Contrition
O my God, because you are so good, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you, and with the help of your grace I will try not to sin again.