[quote="TickledPink, post:1, topic:184134"]
I was born in n strong Catholic country and lived there for 9 years, after that moved to a strong Protestant country, so my elementary education was in a strict girls Catholic School and secondary eduation was in a mixed vaguely protestant school! Talk about confusing.. I had know idea who believed what and what I believed either! To add to that mix my mother is catholic and my dad is protestant!
I've only been in the USA 3 years and love it, and since living here and definately become much more aware of my beliefs and faith. I am Catholic and I believe in almost everything the Church teaches.. and as for the things I may not agree with.. well they are small issues and could simply be from lack of understanding.
Since I was in a Catholic elementary school I took my communion,but never took my confirmation as I had changed countries and my parents very rarely took us to Church. I never even knew I hadn't taken it!!
Now has come to the time in my life when I am 22 years old and I am relizing what I am missing! I don't feel Catholic!! I know that my boyfriend is going to propose soon and I want to raise our family Catholic (Even if children are a long ways off) ! Even though he is "only Christian" he also wants our children to be Catholic! (Possible convert.. yeah I think so!! :) )
So my question are these:
- How do make my confirmation.. do I have to take it with a load of high schoolers?
- Am I considered Catholic even if I have not made it?
- Am I able to even get married in the Catholic Church and raise my family Catholic without having a confirmation?
- And MOST IMPORTANTLY what is a confirmation? What is the purpose of us having one?
- Does the Bible say we need it or is it just Church tradition?
Thank you so much for all your help!
Hi, that's a lot of questions for one post! I'll do my best to answser it.
1) First you approach the person who runs the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program in your parish or area.
They will decide whether you need to go through a course of instruction (usually begins in August/September and ends at the following Easter), and from the limited information you've given us you most likely will have to.
If you go through the RCIA it will be with other adults preparing for their sacraments - some will be similar to you, others may be converts who haven't been baptised or received Communion. They'll be of all ages, not just teens.
2) Well, in a very real sense you were Catholic from the moment of your baptism. But Confirmation does complete the process of initiation into the Catholic Church. It's a bit like formally becoming a citizen of the US instead of just living there.
3) My understanding is that it is very strongly encouraged that those who are getting married receive the sacrament of Confirmation before doing so, if not actually required.
If by 'raising your family Catholic' you mean getting your children baptised etc, the priest is required to have a 'well-founded hope' that your children will actually be RAISED Catholic after their baptism.
If you are not confirmed, they may wonder why, and it may raise some doubt about your commitment to raising your children Catholic, as the sacraments including Confirmation are an important part of this. I don't know how likely it is that baptism would be refused though.
4) It's difficult to explain in a short and simple way what Confirmation is, it has a lot of meanings behind it. I'm sure if you read the section in the Catechism on the sacrament of Confirmation you'll get extra information.
As I said, it completes your initiation as a Catholic Christian. It strengthens the seal of the Holy Spirit which was placed upon your soul at baptism (the words used are actually 'be sealed with the Holy Spirit', and you are anointed with oil on your forehead at the same time).
In a sense it is like bar mitzvah for Jews - signifying that you are sacramentally an 'adult' making a mature and considered commitment to the faith, since baptism and Holy Communion are usually given to children.
5) Is there a biblical basis for it? Absolutely! Its biblical background begins with Pentecost, when the Apostles (who were already given the gift of the Holy Spirit when Christ appeared after His Resurrection) received the Spirit in a fresh and more powerful way. And the 'laying on of hands' to symbolise initiation into the faith and the priesthood, which was, for example, done by the Apostles to Matthias and Ananias to St Paul.
Finally, there are Old Testament parallels - since we are all part of the 'royal priesthood' of all believers, and we know that both kings and priests were (and many still are!) anointed with oil, it's appropriate that we too be anointed.