Hey, there. I’m preparing for my confirmation and I’d like to know more about it. How long is the actual confirmation (not the learning part)? Why do we choose a confirmation name?
When a person is confirmed the bishop anoints them with Chrism while saying “Be sealed with the Holy Spirit.” The person responds with “Amen.” The bishop shakes their hand while saying “Peace be with you” and the person responds “And also with you.” It takes just a few seconds per person.
A confirmation name is optional. If someone chooses one it’s a way of selecting a patron saint, a friend in heaven, to model yourself after and rely on for prayers.
I believe the bishop also first addresses the confirmand loudly by name: “Maybeasister . . . Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
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.
Ah, the good old days. How many people could use a Confirmation like this I am thinking…
Hmm… we have renewals of baptismal vows…
Perhaps if we had renewed portions of the Confirmation ceremonials regularly this would be helpful. Hmm… Hmmmmm…
The delegation was never a ‘dispensation’, the bishop has always been permitted to delegate.
My cousin was confirmed by a priest back in 1963.
In the Eastern Catholic Churches, the priest is the normative administer of the Sacrament ( which occurs moments after Baptism)