The Sacrament of Confirmation
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. Preparation for Confirmation is shared by the parish, the school and the family. In school sixth class pupils follow the “Grow in Love” Religious Education programme. The parish preparation programme offers parents and family the opportunity to be involved in their children’s preparation. Parents and children are asked to attend Mass every Sunday with a special emphasis on the children’s preparation at the monthly “Confirmation preparation” Masses from September to February.
Dates for the Celebration of Confirmation 2023
All ceremonies will take place in St. Patrick’s Church.
|Scoil Íosa||St. Patrick’s Church||11am Sat 25 March|
|Gaelscoil na gCeithre Maol||St. Patrick’s Church||2pm Sat 25 March|
|Culleens National School||St. Patrick’s Church||11am Sat 22 April|
|Quay National School||St. Patrick’s Church||2pm Sat 22 April|
|Behy National School||St. Patrick’s Church||2pm Sat 29 April|
|Breaffy National School||St. Patrick’s Church||2pm Sat 6 May|
At Confirmation the Bishop 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 the parish.
The decision to be confirmed is not one to be taken lightly, for it involves both faith and commitment.
The Confirmation 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.
Choosing a sponsor
To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:
- Be appointed by the candidate, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role have the intention of fulfilling it.
- Be not less than sixteen years of age,
- Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken.
The tradition of taking a new name at Confirmation emphasises the new identity of a Christian being called to witness to their faith. People are encouraged to take the name of a saint or a person from the Bible who inspires them in some way.
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’.