[quote="The_Old_Medic, post:4, topic:236337"]
As is true with many of the liturgical practices, Confirmation has changed over the years. Some things have been added, things have been dropped, and the present form is down to the very simplest of ceremony.
When I was confirmed, back in the 1950's, the concept was that you were being sealed with the Holy Spirit, and that you were becoming a "Soldier of Christ". The Bishop (and ONLY a Bishop was allowed to confirm) would strike the person on the cheek, generally with a gentle slap, and tell them that "You are a soldier of Christ". This was symbolic of the fact that you might be required to suffer hardship, torture and even death in defense of the faith.
The Bishop the confirmed me did not believe in a symbolic "slap". He actually cracked you a pretty good blow on the cheek
Now, Priests have been delegated to perform Confirmation on those who either are converting, or coming back into the church. This had to be approved by Rome, and is a "dispensation"
Priests confirm those they have baptized as adults and adults they are receiving into full Communion and Catholics who are in danger of dying because Canon LAW gives them the authority to do so. It's not a dispensation. (see Canon 883)
To confirm a Catholic who is not in danger of dying, the priest must seek permission from his bishop.