Clarifying Baptism and Confirmation


Trying to figure out something.

The Sacrament of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation are the Rites for Initiation.

I’m just wondering if being baptized invokes water and spirit. Is the spirit the words of saying “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”?

Or is baptism of the spirit is actually the sacrament of confirmation?

I’m pretty sure it’s not the case where Baptism is “incomplete” without confirmation, but then what does confirmation do? In the Catechism, it says to perfect our Baptism, so does that imply that our initial baptisms are imperfect until Confirmation?


Following this out of interest. Especially in light of the separation of the sacraments of initiation which was not always the case.


No, baptism does it all. It’s not deficient, and is the most important sacrament (the gateway sacrament).

Confirmation seals the confirmandi with specific gifts of the Holy Spirit for another purpose - to witness to the Gospel.

Baptism changes the soul with an indelible mark - you are now a son or daughter of the Most High God, and a member of Christ’s body.

Confirmation changes the soul again, with the gifts to help in evangelizing the world.

Holy Orders changes the soul again, with specific sacred power given to the ordinandi in three grades (diaconate, presbyterate and episcopate).

Thus, a bishop has received 5 indelible, irreversible, marks on his soul - all for specific purposes. None of the sacraments are repeated (orders is one sacrament which may be given in three “ranks”).

Deacon Christopher


Simply put: Baptism makes you a part of the group. Confirmation makes you a leader of the group.


Perhaps ‘gives you the ability to lead’ may be better :slight_smile:


Really? So in a Church full of leaders of the group who is the leader?


The head leader.


Thanks. Actually, I should have stated my original intention for asking.

I’m getting all the information I can about the Sacrament of Confirmation to talk to the denominations that follow Luther’s “2 Sacrament” belief.


There are leaders on different levels like parents in a family, those teaching the faith to others, pastor in a parish, bishops for a diocese.


And a separation which has created loads of problems .


I think it’s a pretty poor analogy. It isn’t what I’d tell a group of candidates.


In that context, you should talk about the ambiguity around Confirmation and ask for their opinions. Depending on who it is, they may still have a form of Confirmation which is thought of as an adolescent rite of passage. They may have made Baptism their adolescent rite of Pasage.

More challenging, talk about the idea of “christening.” One of the core ideas of Confirmation is of being anointed as Jesus was the Anointed. That rests primarily in the anointing after baptism for infants, but that anointing is dropped for adult initiations. The single anointing if Confirmation of an adult “configures them more closely” to Christ the Anointed One. Is this a symbol they would reject or embrace? Apart from issues of sacrament or nonsacrament, what is the relation of anointing to Anointed one?


Yeah, I just needed to clarify that the Spirit part of “Water and Spirit” isn’t the Sacrament of Confirmation, but the Sacrament of Confirmation is another invoking of the Holy Spirit.

I’m just tackling the Anglican Sacramental theology where 2 Sacraments are “instituted by Christ” and the other 5 are not, but considered Sacramental Rites, whatever that means. Surely, it’s influenced by Martin Luther, and I already know ways to argue away the “Sacrament of the Gospel” belief.


Lampe’s The Seal of the Spirit is the standard evangelical Anglican theology of baptism/confirmation, if you just want to rehash tired arguments.

At the baptism of Jesus in Mark 1, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended on Jesus. That should reassure you that the Spirit accompanies Baptism. I would be more worried about:

John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.”
Luke 3:16

As an alllusion to Pentecost, that gives you an entry into what we believe about Confirmation.


But John’s baptism was with water. It wasn’t until later that the sacrament was established. John’s baptism was not wholly salvific and is completely different than sacramental baptism. Obviously the CC believes in the sacrament of baptism for all. I was baptized Anglican and confirmed Catholic. But my baptism even not in the Catholic Church was complete and whole.


John’s baptism is the baptism Jesus received, which because Jesus was there gave it the added significance of the Holy Spirit. (It comes a few verses after the passage I quoted.) The baptism Jesus gives, in fire and Spirit, seems to be something beyond the one John gives to Jesus.

It is not the only passage that hints at baptism by water as not enough. If you can reconcile it with baptism is all there is, great. I am just trying to give some ideas.


Yeah, I was already firmly sure that Pentecost is our foundation of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Not only did the Spirit descend on Jesus, which I knew, and also John the Baptists words, but there is also Noah’s Ark, baptized by water of the floods and a dove descending, and then the Exodus baptized by the parting of the Red Sea and led by the Pillar of Fire representing the Spirit.

It’s just confusing as to why anyone could call the Sacrament of Confirmation, and the four other Sacraments, as “corrupt” as I am starting to find in different Christian sacramental theologies.

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