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Encyclopedia > Confirmation (sacrament)

Confirmation is a rite used in many Christian Churches. Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox other Oriental Churches, and Anglicans, view it as a sacrament, which in the East is conferred on infants immediately after baptism, but in the West is usually administered later. In Protestant Churches, the rite tends to be seen rather as a mature statement of faith by an already baptised person, usually an adolescent, and thus as a rite of passage, which, though not as big a change as a bar or bat mitzvah, holds the same meaning. A rite is an established, ceremonious, usually religious act. ... A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. ... The term Christian Church expresses the idea that organised Christianity (the Christian religion) is seen as an institution. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Catholicism. ... Eastern Orthodoxy (also called Greek Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy) is a Christian tradition which represents the majority of Eastern Christianity. ... The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace—a holy mystery. ... Baptism in early Christian art. ... Protestantism is a movement within Christianity, representing the splitting away from the Roman Catholic Church during the mid-to-late Renaissance in Europe—a period known as the Protestant Reformation. ... The word faith has various uses; its central meaning is similar to belief, trust or confidence, but unlike these terms, faith tends to imply a transpersonal rather than interpersonal relationship – with God or a higher power. ... Baptism in early Christian art. ... American high school students participate in a NASA project to design lunar habitats Adolescence is the period of psychological and social transition between childhood and adulthood (gender-specific manhood, or womanhood). ... Shan boy undergoing Poy Sang Long initiation A rite of passage is a ritual that marks a change in a persons social or sexual status. ...

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Roman Catholic view

In the Roman Catholic Church, Confirmation, known also as Chrismation (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1289), is one of the seven sacraments instituted by Christ for the conferral of sanctifying grace and the strengthening of the union between individual souls and God. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Catholicism. ... According to the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 224, the sacraments are efficacious signs, perceptible to the senses, of grace,. They have been instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, and through them divine life is bestowed on us. ...


In Catholic teaching, the effect of the sacrament is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of the grace of Baptism - this is why the sacrament is called "confirmation" - rooting us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, "Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:15), uniting us more firmly to Christ, increasing the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us, rendering more perfect our link with the Church, and giving a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1302-1303). The Twelve Apostles (in Koine Greek απόστολος apostolos [1], someone sent forth/sent out, an emissary) were probably Galilean Jewish men (10 names are Aramaic, 4 names are Greek) chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth by Jesus of Nazareth to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


The roots of Confirmation are found in Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17, "Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit." See also the Gospel of Saint John, chapter 14 where Christ speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The Acts of the Apostles (Greek Praxeis Apostolon) is a book of the Bible, which now stands fifth in the New Testament. ... The Gospel according to John is a gospel document in the canon of the New Testament. ...


In the Latin-Rite (i.e., Western) Catholic Church, the sacrament is customarily conferred only on persons old enough to understand it, and the ordinary minister of Confirmation is a bishop. Only for a serious reason may the diocesan bishop delegate a priest to administer the sacrament (canon 884 of the Code of Canon Law). However, a priest may by law confer the sacrament, if he baptizes someone who is no longer an infant or admits a person already baptized to full communion, or if the person (adult or child) to be confirmed is in danger of death (canon 883). Latin Rite, in the singular and accompanied, in English, by the definite article (The Latin Rite), is a term by which documents of the Catholic Church designate the particular Church, distinct from the Eastern Rite Churches, that developed in western Europe and northern Africa, where Latin was the language of... A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who, in certain Christian churches, holds a position of authority. ... Roman Catholic priests in traditional clerical clothing. ... The term Communion is derived from Latin communio (sharing in common). ...


In Eastern-Rite Roman Catholic Churches, the usual minister of this sacrament is the parish priest, using olive oil consecrated by a bishop (i.e., chrism), and administering the sacrament immediately after Baptism. The term Eastern Rites may refer to the liturgical rites used by many ancient Christian Churches of Eastern Europe and the Middle East that, while being part of the Roman Catholic Church, are distinct from the Latin Rite or Western Church. ... Chrism (Greek word literally meaning an anointing), also called Holy Oil, or Consecrated Oil, is a consecrated oil used in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in the administration of certain sacraments and ecclesiastical functions. ... Baptism in early Christian art. ...


"The practice of the Eastern Churches gives greater emphasis to the unity of Christian initiation. That of the Latin Church more clearly expresses the communion of the new Christian with the bishop as guarantor and servant of the unity, catholicity and apostolicity of his Church, and hence the connection with the apostolic origins of Christ's Church" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1292).


Reserving administration of the sacrament to a bishop, who cannot be present at every infant Baptism, means that large groups of older children and young adults are confirmed together, making the occasion something of a rite of passage and an opportunity to profess personal commitment to the faith. However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1308 warns: "Although Confirmation is sometimes called the 'sacrament of Christian maturity,' we must not confuse adult faith with the adult 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." Shan boy undergoing Poy Sang Long initiation A rite of passage is a ritual that marks a change in a persons social or sexual status. ...


In the early twentieth century, Pope Pius X encouraged the admission of children to reception of the Eucharist as soon as they reached the age of reason, in contrast to the later age at which they had been admitted for some centuries. Since the age for Confirmation remained as before, those being confirmed generally received the Eucharist several years earlier. However, the three sacraments of Christian initiation, Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, are increasingly conferred, within the Latin-Rite Catholic Church, in the traditional order, which is obligatory when an adult is baptized. Pope Saint Pius X (Latin: ), born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto (June 2, 1835 – August 20, 1914), was Pope from 1903 to 1914, succeeding Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903). ... The Eucharist or Communion or The Lords Supper, is the rite that Christians perform in fulfillment of Jesus instruction, recorded in the New Testament[1], to do in memory of him what he did at his Last Supper. ...


The Catholic Church teaches that, like Baptism, Confirmation marks the recipient permanently, making it impossible to receive the sacrament twice. It accepts as valid a Confirmation conferred within Churches, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, whose Holy Orders it sees as valid through the apostolic succession of their bishops. But it considers it necessary to administer the sacrament of Confirmation, in its view for the first and only time, to Protestants who are admitted to full communion with the Catholic Church. Pentecost is considered in Eastern Orthodoxy to be the birth of the Church. ... Roman Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during a 2004 diaconate ordination liturgy Holy Orders in the modern Roman Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, and Independent Catholic Churches, includes... In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor of the Church of the Apostles. ... The term Communion is derived from Latin communio (sharing in common). ...


One of the effects of the sacrament is that "it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1303).[1] This effect has been described as making the confirmed person "a soldier of Christ".[2]


The same passage of the Catechism of the Catholic Church also mentions, as an effect of Confirmation, that "it renders our bond with the Church more perfect". This mention stresses the importance of participation in the Christian community.


The "soldier of Christ" imagery, which remains valid[3] but is downplayed if seen as part of the once common idea of Confirmation as a "sacrament of maturity"[4], was used as far back as 350, by St Cyril of Jerusalem.[5] In this connection, the touch on the cheek that the bishop gave while saying "Pax tecum" (Peace be with you) to the person he had just confirmed was interpreted in the Roman Pontifical as a slap, a reminder to be brave in spreading and defending the faith: "Deinde leviter eum in maxilla caedit, dicens: Pax tecum" (Then he strikes him lightly on the cheek, saying: Peace be with you). When, in application of the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,[6] the Confirmation rite was revised in 1971, mention of this gesture was omitted. However, the French and Italian translations, indicating that the bishop should accompany the words "Peace be with you" with "a friendly gesture" (French text) or "the sign of peace" (Italian text), explicitly allow a gesture such as the touch on the cheek, to which they restore its original meaning. This is in accord with the Introduction to the Rite of Confirmation, 17, which indicates that the episcopal conference may decide "to introduce a different manner for the minister to give the sign of peace after the anointing, either to each individual or to all the newly confirmed together." The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, (Vatican two) was an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church opened under Pope John XXIII in 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI in 1965. ...


Information on other effects and broader matters concerning this sacrament can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1285-1321.


Orthodox views

Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox prefer to speak of this sacrament, which they closely link with baptism, as Chrismation in English, a term that Roman Catholics too use in Italian ("cresima"). These Churches confer chrismation along with baptism, as do Eastern Rite Catholics. The Roman Catholic Church does not confirm converts to Catholicism who have been chrismated in an Eastern Church, considering that the sacrament has been validly conferred and may not be repeated. When Roman Catholics (and some Protestants) convert to Orthodoxy, they are admitted by chrismation, without baptism; but, since this is a matter of local episcopal discretion, a bishop may require all converts to be admitted by baptism, if he deems it necessary. Depending upon the form of the original baptism, some Protestants must be baptized upon conversion to Orthodoxy. Pentecost is considered in Eastern Orthodoxy to be the birth of the Church. ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only the first three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus — and rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon. ... Chrismation is the name given in Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern_rite Catholic churches to the sacrament known as confirmation in the Latin Rite Catholic churches. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Baptism in early Christian art. ... The term Eastern Rites may refer to the liturgical rites used by many ancient Christian Churches of Eastern Europe and the Middle East that, while being part of the Roman Catholic Church, are distinct from the Latin Rite or Western Church. ... In Eastern Orthodoxy, economy is a bishops discretionary power to dispense with church standards (or canons, as they are called) that a parish priest would otherwise be required to follow. ...


Anglican/Episcopal and Lutheran views

The traditional view of the Anglican Communion, expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles, is that Confirmation is one of the five "commonly called sacraments." In the Anglican Communion the bishop alone may give confirmation. ... The renewal of the baptismal vows, which is part of the Anglican confirmation service, is in no way necessary to confirmation and can be done more than once. The unfortunate phrase 'ratify and confirm' applied to the vows since 1552 (but altered in the 1928 revision to 'ratify and confess') has led to the common error that confirmation is merely the renewal of baptismal vows. (If it were, there would be no need for the presence of a bishop.) When confirmation is given early, candidates may be asked to make a fresh renewal of vows when they approach adult life at about eighteen."[7] The Anglican Communion uses the compass rose as its symbol, signifying its worldwide reach and decentralized nature. ... The Thirty-Nine Articles are the defining statements of Anglican doctrine. ...


Anglican doctrine thus differs from Lutheran. Lutheran confirmation (in German, Konfirmation) is a public profession of faith prepared for by long and careful instruction, while the sacramental rite, called by the Western term of "Confirmation" and the Eastern of "Chrismation", is in German called "Firmung".[8] In English, the ceremony of Konfirmation is called "Affirmation of Baptism", a mature and public profession of the faith which "marks the completion of the congregation's program of confirmation ministry" (Lutheran Book of Worship - Ministers Desk Edition, p.324). The German-language Wikipedia article linked to the present one in English concerns Firmung, the sacrament; a separate article, Konfirmation describes the history and practice of the non-sacramental ceremony in use in Lutheran and other Protestant Churches in place of the Catholic sacrament. Mr wadawits smells Luthers seal Lutheranism is a Christian tradition based upon the main theological insights of Martin Luther. ... Lutheran Book of Worship is a hymnal and prayer book used by several Lutheran denominations in North America. ...


In Lutheran Churches only Baptism and the Eucharist are regarded as dominical sacraments of the Gospel.


Reformed-Protestant views

In other Protestant churches, confirmation is often called a "rite" rather than a sacrament, and is held to be merely symbolic rather than an effective means of conferring divine grace. The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize the sacramental validity of Protestant confirmations, and therefore does confirm converts from Protestantism. Protestantism is a movement within Christianity, representing the splitting away from the Roman Catholic Church during the mid-to-late Renaissance in Europe—a period known as the Protestant Reformation. ... Divine grace is believed by Christians to be the sovereign favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who do not merit them. ...


Latter-day Saint views

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, confirmation is considered a necessary saving ordinance and is typically administered shortly after baptism. One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders place their hands on the person's head and one of them says the words of the ordinance, adding any additional words of blessing or advice as he feels inspired. Through confirmation, a person becomes an official member of the Church and receives the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ... Baptism in early Christian art. ... The Melchizedek Priesthood, to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the authority and power to act in the name of God including the authority to perform ordinances and to preside over and direct the affairs of his Church and Kingdom. ... The Gift of the Holy Ghost is a doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ...


Repetition of the sacrament

Western Christians do not normally confirm anyone who has already been confirmed, just as they do not typically baptize anyone twice. The Roman Catholic Church sees confirmation as one of the three sacraments that no one can receive more than once; see sacramental character. Eastern Orthodox Churches occasionally practise "re-chrismation", in that they usually chrismate/confirm a convert, even one previously confirmed, and administer Chrismation again to an apostate from the Orthodox Church who re-enters communion. According to the Tridentine dogmas of Catholicism, a sacramental character is an indelible supernatural mark made on a persons soul by any of three of the seven sacraments: baptism, confirmation, and Holy Orders. ...


Confirmation name

In many English-speaking countries and in German-speaking lands it is customary for a person being confirmed to adopt the name of a saint with whom he feels a special affinity, thus securing an additional patron saint to be his protector and guide. This practice is unknown in many other countries, including the Spanish-speaking ones, and is not mentioned in the official liturgical book of the Rite of Confirmation. Obviously, the custom prevailing in a country influences, often decisively, the practice of immigrants from another country, even if they keep their own language. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A saint is, broadly defined, a holy person. ... In several forms of the church of Christianity, but especially in Roman Catholicism, a patron saint has special affinity for a trade or group. ...


The saint's name is often used in conjunction with the confirmee's middle name, and is without effect in civil law, unless, of course, the confirmand pursues the appropriate legal avenues. Many peoples names include one or more middle names, placed between the first given name and the surname. ...


External links

  • Catholic Sacrament of Confirmation - Initiation
  • Information and Forum for Roman Catholics About to Receive Confirmation
  • Catholic Encyclopedia - Catholic teaching on Confirmation
  • Catechism of Filaret, 307-314 - Eastern Orthodox teaching on Confirmation/Unction with Chrism/Chrismation
  • Anglican teaching on Confirmation

  Results from FactBites:
 
Confirmation (sacrament) - definition of Confirmation (sacrament) in Encyclopedia (614 words)
In the Roman Catholic church confirmation is one of the seven sacraments.
Confirmation is seen as granting the receiver an extra-natural source of wisdom, knowledge and courage, should the person desire it with an open heart.
In Protestant churches, confirmation is often called a "rite" rather than a sacrament, and is held to be merely symbolic rather than an effective means of conferring divine grace.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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