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104 Main Street Danbury, CT 06810
 
Parish Office 203-743-2707

Danbury's mother Catholic Church since 1851.

Confirmation

Some Theology.

The Sacrament of Confirmation was instituted by Christ in promising to send the Holy Spirit. We find this fulfilled in the Pentecost event, and after Peter proclaims the basic Gospel message, the people moved by it ask, "What shall we do?" Peter responds, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" This suggests a twofold aspect of Christian Initiation - Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and the Spirit given in Confirmation. In Acts 8 and 19, we have scriptural witness to a rite after Baptism, the laying on of hands, which gives the Holy Spirit.

Confirmation is the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. We are an Apostolic Church growing in time from the Apostles themselves to the apostles of the present, one of whom is our own Bishop, the Most Reverend William E. Lori, Bishop of Bridgeport. Like Baptism, which it completes, Confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the "character," which is the sign the Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of the Holy Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness.
 
Who can receive this Sacrament? Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should receive the sacrament of Confirmation. Since Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist form a unity, it follows that "the faithful are obliged to receive this sacrament at the appropriate time, "for without Confirmation and Eucharist, Baptism is certainly valid and efficacious, but Christian initiation remains incomplete. Although Confirmation is sometimes called the "sacrament of Christian maturity," we must not confuse adult faith with the age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need "ratification to become effective. 

Preparation for the Sacrament. Preparation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit - His actions, His gifts, and His biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. We, the parish bear special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands. 

Receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. To receive Confirmation one must be in the state of grace. One should receive the sacrament of Penance in order to be cleansed for the gift of the Holy Spirit. More intense prayer should prepare one to receive the strength and graces of the Holy Spirit with docility and readiness to act. Candidates for Confirmation, as for Baptism, fittingly seek the spiritual help of a Sponsor. To emphasize the unity of the two sacraments, it is appropriate that this be one of the baptismal godparents.

At St. Peter’s date and time. Confirmations are normally scheduled from mid November until the middle of December. The usual times for the celebration are 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. Adjustments may be made in order to fit the celebration into the parish schedule. 

Age. In accord with the directives of the Third Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport: 'Confirmation shall be received by our young people at least before they leave the years of grammar school, that is, normally by the 7th or 8th grade."

Sponsors. The Rite of Confirmation requires that each candidate have an individual sponsor. This sponsor may be the baptismal sponsor or another person. The sponsor may be of either sex. In order to be admitted to the office of sponsor, a person must: a) Be designated by the one to be confirmed, by the parents or the one who takes their place or, in their absence, by the pastor or minister and is to have the qualifications and intention of performing this role; b) Have completed the 16th year or if it seems to the pastor that an exception is to be made for a just cause; c) Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the Sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken; d) Not to be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared: e) Not be the mother or father of the one confirmed (NOTE: If there is no sponsor available, the parent (s) may fill the function of sponsor - in this case special notation must be recorded and permission of the pastor received.) Members of non-Catholic Churches or ecclesial communities may not act as sponsors for the sacrament of confirmation. 

Confirmation name. Since baptism and confirmation are closely related, it is most important that the candidate be presented to the minister of the sacrament by the baptismal name. The same person who entered the Church by baptism is now completing the process of sacramental initiation. Nevertheless, if a candidate so desires, a new name may be chosen for confirmation. 

Anointing. When directed, the sponsor places their right hand on the candidate's right shoulder. The sponsor clearly says the candidate's first name (or confirmation name, if used). The bishop anoints the candidate's forehead and says: N... , be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit (these words are never to be printed in the participation booklet). The candidate immediately responds: Amen. The candidate responds: And also with you.