What are the special gifts of Confirmation that give strength?

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1 What is Confirmation? Confirmation is the Sacrament through which the Holy Spirit comes to us in a special way to join us more closely to Jesus and His Church and to seal and strengthen us as Christ s witness. We are accepted as fully initiated members of the Church and are expected to take up the challenge of becoming mature Disciples of Christ. We view Confirmation as a sealing of our Baptism. It is an opportunity for us to say yes to the vows taken for us by our parents and godparents in the sacrament of Baptism. What does the word Confirmation Mean? Confirmation means, making strong or strengthening. The work begun by our baptism is strengthened or completed by Confirmation. What are the special gifts of Confirmation that give strength? Receiving the Holy Spirit and His seven gifts gives us the strength to stand up for and defend our faith. What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit? 1. Wisdom Enables us to see that all of life can be reduce to one simple truth: love of God and neighbor. 2. Understanding To see beneath the surface of a problem or an issue and to recognize what is really involved. 3. Knowledge- To get the facts straight. To be able to recognize the difference between truth and error. 4. Courage Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge enable us to be convinced of what is good. Courage gives us the strength to be able to hold on to and defend that which is good no matter how difficult or dangerous it might be. 5. Right Judgment- Gifted by God s wisdom, understanding and knowledge we will be able to figure out how best to act in a tough situation. 6. Reverence This gift enables us to be sensitive to the love and holiness God offers us through Jesus and the Christian community. 7. Awe in God s Presence This gift enables us to have a keen awareness of just how special and awesome God really is. Who is the usual minister of Confirmation? The Bishop is the usual minister of Confirmation. Sometimes, however the Bishop will delegate a priest to administer Confirmation if he is not available to be present himself. In a large diocese it is impossible for the Bishop to be present at all the Confirmations.

2 What is the reason for having a sponsor at Confirmation? Your sponsor serves you in three ways. First, your sponsor serves as a role model for you in faith. Second, your sponsor is a companion on your faith journey, supporting you in prayer and in your search for the Holy Spirit. Finally, your sponsor witnesses for you before the entire Church. Standing by you as you are confirmed, he or she proclaims by that gesture that you are ready and willing to accept the responsibilities and privileges of being a fully initiated member of the Catholic Christian community. What is the significance of a Confirmation name? Taking a new name for Confirmation enables us to honor our patron saint by living up to the ideals that made that saint holy and good. We choose a saint s name so that our patron saint can be a role model and be someone to help and inspire us. If you choose not to take a new name, you can use your baptismal name. What happens during the Confirmation ceremony? If the Sacrament of Confirmation is administered during Mass, the Mass will be the same as a regular Mass except after the Gospel the Sacrament of Confirmation will be administered and then the Mass will continue as usual. If the Sacrament of Confirmation is not administered during Mass there will be the readings from Sacred Scripture and then the Sacrament of Confirmation will be administered. The presentation of Candidates Presentation the Candidates will take place following the Gospel. At this time the Pastor will present the Candidates for Confirmation to the Bishop, stating that they have completed the necessary preparation for Confirmation and are ready to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at which time all the Confirmation candidates will stand. Renewal of Baptismal Promise This will take place following the Homily. The Bishop will ask you to stand and to renew the Baptismal Promises that your parents and godparents made for you at your baptism. Imposition of Hands Following the renewal of Baptismal Promises the Bishop will extend his hands over the candidates expressing the Biblical gesture by which the Holy Spirit is called upon. The Anointing with Chrism We now come to the central action by which the sacrament of Confirmation is conferred. With his thumb moistened with Holy Chrism, the Bishop makes the Sign of the Cross on the candidate s forehead saying, Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. : The newly

3 confirmed responds: Amen. Then the Bishop says: Peace be with you and the newly confirmed responds: And with your Spirit. While the Bishop is confirming you, your sponsor will be standing behind you with his/her right hand on your right shoulder. Following the anointing of each candidate the Mass or ceremony will conclude as usual. What is Chrism? The oil used to anoint the candidates is called holy chrism. It is a mixture of olive oil and perfume called balm or balsam; it is blessed by the Bishop at a Mass during Holy week. What does the Sign of the Cross mean in Confirmation? The Sign of the Cross shows that we believe that our deliverance from sin and our restoration of God s grace comes only from Christ s death on the Cross. Impressed on our forehead, the Cross proclaims our willingness to share in the sufferings of Christ and to remain true and loyal to the forgiveness from sins. What does it mean to be a witness to Christ? To be a witness to Christ means to know, love and worship God in the way Christ wants us to. This means that we have to: a) Know what Christ taught by studying the Scriptures. b) Obey the commandments of God and the example of Jesus by keeping oneself pure and free from sin. c) Worship God properly by receiving and living out the sacraments and by participating in the Mass each Sunday and holy days of obligation. Confirmation helps us to take very seriously these duties of knowing, obeying and worshiping God. What will be expected of you after you have received Confirmation? After receiving Confirmation you will be expected to be a witness of Christ, to proclaim your faith, to defend it and to spread it whenever possible. What are some of the ways you can promote the faith? You can promote your faith by praying for everyone, by giving good example, by doing works of mercy, by helping the missions, by encouraging vocations and above all by receiving the sacraments as often as possible.

4 Amen A Hebrew word that means I Believe this with my whole heart or I agree completely. Beatitudes The standards for a happy life given by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount. Confirmation A sacrament through which those who have been baptized in Christ share more fully in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and in membership in Christ s Church. Corporal Works of Mercy Human actions, motivated by love of God and neighbor, relating to the bodily need of others. Crosier The staff carried by the Bishop. It is modeled after the shepherd s staff with a hook at one end. Diocese An area or district of the Church a bishop governs. The bishop is ultimately responsible for the guidance of all the parishes and all the Catholics in his diocese. The word comes from two Greek words meaning to keep house or to govern a household. Evangelization Comes from the Greek word evangel, meaning messenger, and announcer of good news. An evangelist is a messenger sent to tell people the Good News of God s salvation in Jesus and the coming of God s kingdom. Fruits of the Holy Spirit Love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. Holy Spirit The third person of the Bless Trinity. Hope The theological virtue that helps us trust in God and his promise of eternal life. Infinite To be totally without limits of any kind. Only God is truly infinite. Jesus Law of Love The words of Jesus that sum up all of God s laws: Love one another just as I love you. Justice Giving to people what is rightfully theirs; one of the cardinal moral virtues. Lectionary The book used at Mass containing all the readings from Scripture for the various Sundays and Feast days. Lent The forty-day period of prayer and fasting before Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday. The season when we prepare to celebrate the mystery of Jesus death and resurrection and deepen the conversion symbolized and begun in our baptism Martyr One who sacrifices his or her life for a cause.

5 Miter The tall hat worn by a bishop at official ceremonies. It is a symbol of a bishop s responsibility to serve as a leader in the Church Obligation Duties imposed by the laws of God, the Church, or moral law. Moral (or Cardinal) Virtues Prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude. Occasion of Sin Any person, place, or thing that is a temptation to sin for a particular person. Prophet A person who spreads the news of Jesus. Prudence A virtue that helps us make practical decisions and judgements; one of the cardinal moral virtues. Sacramentary Book used at Mass and other liturgical services that contains the official prayer and rituals to be used. Sacraments of Healing Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick; sacraments which bring Christ s healing to us. Sacraments of Initiation Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist; the sacraments by which a person is initiated into the Catholic Church. Sacraments of Service Holy Orders and Matrimony; sacrament of commitment. Spiritual Works of Mercy Seven charitable works encouraged by the Church related to the spiritual well-being of others. Virtue Habitual actions that promote the good of any individual or of society. Vocation Call from God to a particular way of life. Wisdom A gift of the Holy Spirit that enables us to judge rightly about the things of God and to desire the things of God rather than the things of the world. Anointing The act of consecrating a person or a thing by applying blessed oil or chrism. Apostolic That identifying mark or gift of the Church by which the pope and all the bishops can trace their priestly leadership and teaching back to Jesus and the apostles. Chrism A blessed mixture of olive oil and balsam (or perfumed) used in anointing during Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders. Chrism is usually consecrated at the Chrism on Holy Thursday.

6 Bishop An ordained priest appointed by the pope who has received the fullness of Christ s priesthood through the prayers and the imposition of a consecrating bishop s hands; a successor of the apostles whose sphere of authority is a diocese. Paraclete One who gives witness to another; one who defends or helps another; an Advocate; one of the titles of the Holy Spirit. Prayer A conscious and deliberate turning toward God; a lifting up of the mind and heart to God; conversation with God. Chasity The virtue that calls us to use the gift of sexuality in a reasonable, responsible, and faithful manner. Gifts of the Holy Spirit Seven special gifts of the Holy Spirit that help us to live as faithful followers and true witnesses of Jesus Christ; wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence and wonder and awe. Grace A sharing in the life and love of God; having this gift of grace means that God s own life and love are ours. Covenant A sacred contract; a holy agreement; a solemn, binding pact between two or more persons; between God and God s people. Creed A statement of prayer listing religious beliefs. The Apostle s Creed and the Nicene Creed are prayers that list Catholic religious beliefs. Eucharist The sacraments of the Body and Blood of Christ; a sacrifice of love and a sacred meal. The Eucharist is the fullness of Christian initiation. Heaven The place and state of perfect, eternal happiness that belongs to those who have loved and served God on earth. The blessed in heaven see God face to face and forever know, love and enjoy God. Holy Day of Obligation A special feast that Catholics are bound to celebrate by participating in the Mass. Imposition of hands The laying on of hands to invoke God and His blessing. The imposition of hands is a part of the Rite of Confirmation. Liturgical year The annual cycle during which the Church celebrates the whole mystery of Christ (His Paschal Mystery) and honors Mary, the angels and the saints. These mysteries are celebrated in the Mass, and other acts of public worship. Mortal Sin A serious offense against God that destroys our friendship with Him and causes us to lose grace and eternal life.

7 Paschal Mystery The suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus through which mankind was saved from sin and death. Pentecost the fiftieth day after Easter on which the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus followers in the fulfillment of His promise; the birthday of the Church, its public manifestation. Pope the visible leader of the Catholic Church on earth; a successor of St. Peter the Apostle; the bishop of Rome; the chief bishop, the Vicar of Christ. Sacrifice an act of self-denial, often prompted by love of God. Sacrament an outward sign instituted by Christ in which we encounter Him at key points in our journey of life. Saint a person who cooperated with the graces of the Spirit and lived a Christ-like life on earth and so now enjoys life with God in heaven forever. Scripture sacred writings containing God s revelation; the Old Testament and New Testament. Seal a stamp or identifying mark that sets aside or consecrates a person or an object for a special mission. At Confirmation we are sealed with the sign of the Spirit. Sponsor a practicing Catholic who presents a candidate for Baptism or Confirmation. The sponsor s duty is to support the candidate in living the faith and to give good example in this regard. Trinity The central doctrine and mystery that in God there are three persons (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) with one nature. Works of Mercy The traditional forms of Christian service to others. The seven spiritual works minister to the soul or spirit. The seven corporal works minister to the body.

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