Confirmation

Lesson 25 from the Baltimore Cathechism

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330. What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is the sacrament through which the Holy Ghost comes to us in a special way and enables us to profess our faith as strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.

But I speak the truth to you; it is expedient for you that I depart. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. (John 16:7)

331. Who is the usual minister of Confirmation?

The bishop is the usual minister of Confirmation.

332. What does the bishop do when he gives Confirmation?

The bishop extends his hands over those who are to be confirmed, prays that they may receive the Holy Ghost, and, while laying his hand on the head of each person, anoints the forehead with holy chrism in the form of a cross.

And when Paul had imposed his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)

333. What does the bishop say in anointing the person he confirms?

In anointing the person he confirms, the bishop says: "I sign you with the sign of the cross and I confirm you with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

334. What is holy chrism?

Holy chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balm, blessed by the bishop on Holy Thursday.

335. What does the anointing of the forehead with chrism in the form of a cross signify?

The anointing of the forehead with chrism in the form of a cross signifies that the Catholic who is confirmed must always be ready to profess his faith openly and to practice it fearlessly.

336. Why does the bishop give the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek?

The bishop gives the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek to remind him that he must be ready to suffer everything, even death, for the sake of Christ.

337. What are the effects of Confirmation?

Confirmation increases sanctifying grace, gives its special sacramental grace, and imprints a lasting character on the soul.

And when Paul had imposed his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)

338. What does the sacramental grace of Confirmation help us to do?

The sacramental grace of Confirmation helps us to live our faith loyally and to profess it courageously.

339. What is the character of Confirmation?

The character of Confirmation is a spiritual and indelible sign which marks the Christian as a soldier in the army of Christ.

340. What is necessary to receive Confirmation properly?

To receive Confirmation properly it is necessary to be in the state of grace, and to know well the chief truths and duties of our religion.

341. After we have been confirmed, why should we continue to study our religion even more earnestly than before?

After we have been confirmed, we should continue to study our religion even more earnestly than before, so that we may be able to explain and defend our faith, and thus cooperate with the grace of Confirmation.

342. Why should all Catholics be confirmed?

All Catholics should be confirmed in order to be strengthened against the dangers to salvation and to be prepared better to defend their Catholic faith.

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