By the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptised are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed - CCC 1285
Sacraments of Initiation: Confirmation
At Baptism, we begin a life-long journey and a way of life. At Confirmation, the graces received in Baptism are sealed with the reception of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. . The words that Jesus shared with his disciples at Pentecost apply to each one of us at Confirmation, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses (Acts 1:8).
In Southwark, the Sacrament of Confirmation is typically received by children, who are at least twelve years of age, baptised, and prepared with the help of the parish community and remotely through our Catholic secondary schools. Confirmation is administered by the Bishop and, on rare occasions, by a priest delegated by the Bishop.
Anointed and Gifted
The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that God's Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to sustain his mission. Their prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus, the Messiah (Christ), was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus on the occasion of his baptism by John. Jesus' entire mission occurred in communion with the Spirit. Before he died, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and to the entire Church. After his death, he was raised by the Father in the power of the Spirit.
The Sacrament of Confirmation confers ‘the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost (CCC 1302)’. As such, Confirmation is ordinarily administered by the bishop, who is the successor of the apostles.
Confirmation deepens our baptismal life that calls us to be missionary witnesses of Jesus Christ in our families, neighbourhoods, society, and the world.
In the Sacrament of Confirmation, we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, right judgment, understanding, courage, piety, and fear of the Lord. In this way, the Sacrament of Confirmation completes the Sacrament of Baptism (see CCC 1303).
The Rite of Confirmation
In the Rite of Confirmation, the bishop traces the Oil of Holy Chrism on the candidate’s forehead in the shape of the cross. This recalls Christ’s title as ‘the Anointed’. In the Old Testament, we also read about the anointing of priests, prophets, and kings:
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward (1 Samuel 16:13)
In Baptism, we receive an anointing (which cleanses and strengthens us for the Christian life), the anointing then received in Confirmation acts as a consecration, a setting apart for mission (CCC 1294).
Want to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation?
You have been baptised or received into the Catholic Church
Youth: Complete your parish’s Confirmation preparation for older children or teens
Adult: Enrol in Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) process in your parish