MERGED: What's the point of Confirmation?/what are its benefits?


#1

Since we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism, what is the point of Confirmation, which also gives us the gift of the Spirit? Is the gift of the Spirit at Baptism not enough? Is the gift of the Spirit at Baptism not strengthening?


#2

No, what confirmation does is it completes Baptism. Baptism is the initiation, and it remits all sin on the soul when it is received. Its primary purpose is to remit Original Sin, and to prepare us for Confirmation, and the reception of the other sacraments. Confirmation makes us soldiers of Christ. Just as though the Apostles were Baptized, they still did not have the strength to do what they did after the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them in the upper room. Essentially, then, Confirmation is the completion of Baptism :thumbsup:


#3

So one cannot be a soldier of Christ before they are confirmed? Does one not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism? Is Baptism therefore somehow “incomplete”? (And when were the Apostles baptized anyway?)

15 years is long gap between Baptism and Confirmation then. Perhaps the way the Eastern Catholics and Orthodox practice it is better: right after an infant is baptized.


#4

So one cannot be a soldier of Christ before they are confirmed? Does one not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism? Is Baptism therefore somehow “incomplete”? (And when were the Apostles baptized anyway?)

15 years is long gap between Baptism and Confirmation then. Perhaps the way the Eastern Catholics and Orthodox practice it is better: right after an infant is baptized.

CCC 1289 “In the West, Confirmation suggests both the ratification of Baptism, thus completing Christian initiation, and the strengthening of baptismal grace.” Basically, that is what Confirmation is, in a nutshell. However, I’m sure you would like some history and background, so here you are:

"Very early, the better to signify the gift of the Holy Spirit, an anointing with perfumed oil (chrism) was added to the laying on of hands. This anointing highlights the name ‘Christian,’ which means ‘anointed’ and derives from that of Christ himself whom God ‘anointed with the Holy Spirit.’ This rite of anointing has continued ever since, in both East and West. For this reason the Eastern Churches call this sacrament Chrismation, anointing with chrism, or myron which means ‘chrism.’ In the West, Confirmation suggests both the ratification of Baptism, thus completing Christian initiation, and the strengthening of baptismal grace - both fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Two traditions: East and West

In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a “double sacrament,” according to the expression of St. Cyprian. Among other reasons, the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. the East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But he can do so only with the ‘myron’ consecrated by a bishop." (CCC 1289-1291)


#5

[quote="Daniel_Lysinger, post:4, topic:326545"]
CCC 1289 "In the West, Confirmation suggests both the ratification of Baptism, thus completing Christian initiation, and the strengthening of baptismal grace." Basically, that is what Confirmation is, in a nutshell. However, I'm sure you would like some history and background, so here you are:

"Very early, the better to signify the gift of the Holy Spirit, an anointing with perfumed oil (chrism) was added to the laying on of hands. This anointing highlights the name 'Christian,' which means 'anointed' and derives from that of Christ himself whom God 'anointed with the Holy Spirit.' This rite of anointing has continued ever since, in both East and West. For this reason the Eastern Churches call this sacrament Chrismation, anointing with chrism, or myron which means 'chrism.' In the West, Confirmation suggests both the ratification of Baptism, thus completing Christian initiation, and the strengthening of baptismal grace - both fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Two traditions: East and West

In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a "double sacrament," according to the expression of St. Cyprian. Among other reasons, the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. the East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But he can do so only with the 'myron' consecrated by a bishop." (CCC 1289-1291)

[/quote]

Thanks for your reply. But why would baptismal grace need to be strengthened? Is is somewhat weak before Baptism?

The dictionary defines "to ratify" as
1. to confirm by expressing consent, approval, or formal sanction: to ratify a constitutional amendment.
2.to confirm (something done or arranged by an agent or by representatives) by such action.

Why would Baptism need to be confirmed or approved?


#6

Additional graces are given. If you’re asking why God doesn’t give ALL His gifts for the Christian immediately at Baptism, I don’t think we can know why, it’s just His plan. He wants to give sanctifying grace in Baptism and charismatic gifts in Confirmation. That’s His prerogative; He can do what He wants.

The dictionary defines “to ratify” as

  1. to confirm by expressing consent, approval, or formal sanction: to ratify a constitutional amendment.
    2.to confirm (something done or arranged by an agent or by representatives) by such action.

Why would Baptism need to be confirmed or approved?

It’s using “confirmation” in the older sense of “give strength to.” And it’s not Baptism that’s strengthened – the person is strengthened.


#7

I don't know what it technically means, but here is my opinion. Baptism remits original sin when we are infants. We don't choose it. It takes away all sin and prepares us for a life of being raised in the Church. Confirmation is the person VOLUNTARILY saying "yes" to the Church and to her teachings. In a sense, it's like a wedding. You are confirming that you want to be a member of the Catholic Church for the rest of your life, that you believe in the Church and what if teaches. When we voluntarily do this, our entrance into the Church is confirmed and we receive additional graces that help us to go forth and spread the gospel-sort of like when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles. They were baptized, but Jesus had told them that they weren't yet ready to leave Jerusalem and spread the gospel. They needed additional graces of the Holy Spirit to strengthen them and teach them what to say.

This is my take on it anyway :)


#8

This might clarify why Confirmation is necessary.

From Acts 18

14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, **they sent them Peter and John,15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.**16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.


#9

Note the difference in the Apostles before Pentecost and afterward.

What was the difference?

They had already been Baptized, they had even already been Ordained priests (actually Bishops) at the Last Supper.

Does that mean that they reacted to the Faith in the same way as they did AFTER Pentecost


#10

Doctor of the Church, St Cyril of Jerusalem speaking on the importance of Confirmation (aka Chrismation):

  1. But beware of supposing this to be plain ointment. For as the Bread of the Eucharist, after the invocation of the Holy Ghost, is mere bread no longer , but the Body of Christ, so also this holy ointment is no more simple ointment, nor (so to say) common, after invocation, but it is Christ’s gift of grace, and, by the advent of the Holy Ghost, is made fit to impart His Divine Nature. Which ointment is symbolically applied to your forehead and your other senses; and while your body is anointed with the visible ointment, your soul is sanctified by the Holy and life-giving Spirit.

  2. …] For as Christ after His Baptism, and the visitation of the Holy Ghost, went forth and vanquished the adversary, so likewise ye, after Holy Baptism and the Mystical Chrism, having put on the whole armour of the Holy Ghost, are to stand against the power of the adversary, and vanquish it, saying, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

  3. Having been counted worthy of this Holy Chrism, you are called Christians, verifying the name also by your new birth. For before you were deemed worthy of this grace, you had properly no right to this title, but were advancing on your way towards being Christians.

  4. Moreover, you should know that in the old Scripture there lies the symbol of this Chrism. For what time Moses imparted to his brother the command of God, and made him High-priest, after bathing in water, he anointed him; and Aaron was called Christ or Anointed, evidently from the typical Chrism. So also the High-priest, in advancing Solomon to the kingdom, anointed him after he had bathed in Gihon. 1 Kings 1:39 To them however these things happened in a figure, but to you not in a figure, but in truth; because you were truly anointed by the Holy Ghost. Christ is the beginning of your salvation; for He is truly the First-fruit, and you the mass Romans 11:16; but if the First-fruit be holy, it is manifest that Its holiness will pass to the mass also.


#11

[quote="TheAdvocate, post:3, topic:326545"]
So one cannot be a soldier of Christ before they are confirmed? Does one not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism? Is Baptism therefore somehow "incomplete"? (And when were the Apostles baptized anyway?)

15 years is long gap between Baptism and Confirmation then. Perhaps the way the Eastern Catholics and Orthodox practice it is better: right after an infant is baptized.

[/quote]

The giving of both Sacraments together in the Apostolic age occurred because the converts were mostly adults and then there children. The persecution of the early Christians may be another reason why both were given together. The separation shows forth YOUR free will choice to continue in the religion you were raised in; by choosing Confirmation. In Confirmation you receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. As well a the opportunity for a closer relationship with the Holy Spirit and the rest of the Trinity. But, this is merely my opinion. :)


#12

The three Holy Mysteries are given at once in the Byzantine Catholic Church, even to infants.

[LIST]
*] Holy Baptism is our participation in the death and resurrection of Christ.
*] Holy Chrismation is our participation in the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
*] Holy Eucharist is our participation in the gift of New Life in Christ.
[/LIST]

Baptism and Chrismation (Confirmation) are only given once, because they impart a character.

Catechism of the Catholic Church has: 1290 In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a “double sacrament,” according to the expression of St. Cyprian. Among other reasons, the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. The East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But he can do so only with the “myron” consecrated by a bishop.101

Baltimore Catechism No. 3Q. 621. What is Baptism?
A. Baptism is a Sacrament which cleanses us from original sin, makes us Christians, children of God, and heirs of heaven.

Q. 698. Which are the effects of Confirmation?
A. The effects of Confirmation are an increase of sanctifying grace, the strengthening of our faith, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Q. 699. Which are the gifts of the Holy Ghost?
A. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.

Q. 895. Why did Christ institute the Holy Eucharist?
A. Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist:[INDENT]
[LIST=1]
*]To unite us to Himself and to nourish our soul with His divine life.
*]To increase sanctifying grace and all virtues in our soul.
*]To lessen our evil inclinations.
*]To be a pledge of everlasting life.
*]To fit our bodies for a glorious resurrection.
*]To continue the sacrifice of the Cross in His Church.
[/LIST]
Q. 896. Has the Holy Eucharist any other effect?
A. The Holy Eucharist remits venial sins by disposing us to perform acts of love and contrition. It preserves us from mortal sin by exciting us to greater fervor and strengthening us against temptation.

[/INDENT]


#13

You are milk. Chocolate syrup is the Holy Spirit.

It’s poured in at Baptism. Confirmation gives you the spoon.


#14

Confirmation is an adult decision. I think it should be actually done even later than it is now.


#15

This is an incorrect view of confirmation


#16

Thanks for your post, though, in the Eastern Catholic Churches, which share the same faith, babies receive confirmation. And babies are not able to voluntarily say “yes.”


#17

Confirmation is not a decision, it’s a sacrament that ratifies Baptism, or a completion of the initiation of a Christian.


#18

Of course, back in St. Cyril’s day, Confirmation was given to people right after Baptism, so the issue concerning what the Holy Spirit does is not so pronounced because it’s all part of the same event. No 15 year gap here, whereby the teenager receives a gift of the Holy Spirit that their Eastern Catholic counterparts had ever since they were infants.


#19

Children should not be forced to be confirmed by their parents. It should be a decision freely taken by them. It is them saying that they themselves want to be adult members of the Church. I was intrigued that the two teens confirmed by the Pope were on the older end. One was I believe 17 years old. It seems that their parish believes it should only be done at the teenager’s pace. I think that a 16/17 year old has a more mature outlook on life than a 12 year old.


#20

[quote="The_Serpent, post:11, topic:326545"]
The giving of both Sacraments together in the Apostolic age occurred because the converts were mostly adults and then there children. The persecution of the early Christians may be another reason why both were given together. The separation shows forth YOUR free will choice to continue in the religion you were raised in; by choosing Confirmation. In Confirmation you receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. As well a the opportunity for a closer relationship with the Holy Spirit and the rest of the Trinity. But, this is merely my opinion. :)

[/quote]

The conferral of both sacraments went way beyond the Apostolic age, and I seriously doubt persecution was a factor at all. So a teenager at 14 does not have the seven gifts of the Spirit, but then bam as a 15 year old he or she suddenly does. And for some reason when we receive the Spirit in Baptism, the 7 gifts don't come along with it.


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