The Sacrament Of Confirmation
( Originally Published 1922 )
Confirmation is the Sacrament in which we receive the Holy Ghost. In the Sacrament of Confirmation the Holy Ghost brings us many gifts. By this holy Sacrament we become strong and courageous Christians. The bishop gives Confirmation. When he gives this Sacrament he anoints the forehead with holy chrism and prays that the Holy Ghost may come unto our soul.
Children, perhaps you would like to tell me again about God's grace. What is grace to our soul? What does this new life do for our soul? How does it change our soul? Why do we need God's grace? What can we do when we have God's grace? When did you first receive God's grace? Why is Baptism like being born again? What new life did you receive when you were baptized? When did you become a child of God ? When did you become a member of the Catholic Church?
When will the Holy Ghost come to you? In what Sacrament will you receive the Holy Ghost? What person of the Blessed Trinity will come to you in the Sacrament of Confirmation? When will God the Holy Ghost come to dwell in your soul? Why do you think the Holy Ghost comes to us in Confirmation? What will the Holy Ghost do for your soul? What will make you strong in faith? Why will you be brave and fearless after you have been confirmed? What did the Holy Ghost do for the Apostles?
Why must your soul be free from sin when you receive the Sacrament of Confirmation? Who comes to you then? Who is the Holy Ghost? What Sacrament shall you receive before being confirmed ? Why shall you receive the Sacrament of Penance? Why is the day of your Confirmation like Pentecost was for the Apostles? When shall you become strong and fearless Christians? Why shall you be happy when you are confirmed? Why were the Apostles happy on that first Pentecost ?
How long has the Holy Ghost been God ? How long will the Holy Ghost be God? What can the Holy Ghost do? What does the Holy Ghost know ? Why does God love you so much? Why will the Holy Ghost come into your soul? Why does He wish to make you holy ? When shall you be able to see the Holy Ghost? Yes ; you will be able to see God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost in heaven. God the Holy Ghost took the form of fiery tongues when He came upon the Apostles. When our Lord was being baptized God the Holy Ghost appeared in the form of a dove.
What spirits do you know ? Why can you not see the Holy Ghost when He comes to you? What form did the Holy Ghost take when He came upon the Apostles? What form did He take at our Lord's Baptism? When the Holy Ghost comes to you He brings many gifts for your soul. The seven special gifts which He brings are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
Who gives Confirmation? Who gave Confirmation to the first Christians? Who sent the Apostles to give Confirmation to the first Christians? Who sends the bishop to give you Confirmation? Who went with you when you were baptized? Your godfather and godmother are called sponsors. In Confirmation you also have a sponsor. Boys have a man for sponsor in Confirmation and girls have a woman. While the bishop anoints your forehead, your sponsor holds his right hand on your right shoulder. Your sponsor is a friend who will give you good advice and help you to be faithful to God. To be a sponsor you must be confirmed and be at least fourteen years old. Now, tell me about your sponsor in Confirmation. Whom do boys have for sponsor? Whom do girls? What does your sponsor do while the bishop anoints your forehead? What will your sponsor do for you?
When did you receive your name? In what Sacrament do you generally take another name? What kind of name do you take in Confirmation? Why do you take the name of a saint in Confirmation ? What will your patron saint do for you?
When you go to Confirmation, you kneel before the bishop. Your sponsor stands behind you with his right hand on your right shoulder. You should have your hair brushed back from your forehead so that the bishop can anoint you. What does the bishop do when he confirms you? With what does he anoint your forehead? This holy oil is called holy chrism. It is olive oil with which balsam is mixed. The bishop makes the sign of the cross on your forehead with holy chrism. Then you remain kneeling where you are until the priest wipes away the holy chrism. Now, tell me how the bishop anoints your fore-head. In what form does he anoint you? What is holy chrism? You know the bishop blesses the holy oils on Holy Thursday.
The holy oil is a sign of the strength which Confirmation gives to us. You know to anoint with oil is always a sign of strength. Lay persons are not permitted to touch the holy oils. While the bishop anoints the forehead he says : "I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and I con-firm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." In whose name, then, does the bishop confirm you ? In whose name did the priest baptize you? In whose name does the priest forgive your sins in the Sacrament of Penance?
As soon as the bishop anoints you he gives you a little slap on the cheek. When he does this, he says : "Peace be with thee." This little blow on the cheek is to remind you that you must be ready to suffer for your Faith. What does the bishop say when he anoints you? What does he do as soon as he has anointed you? What does he say when he gives you a little slap on the cheek ? Of what does this little blow remind you ? After all have been anointed the bishop stands at the altar and extends his hands over you and prays that the Holy Ghost may enter into your soul. Then all kneel and say the Apostles' Creed. This is a profession of faith made at Confirmation. .
Now, I am sure you can tell me all about the , Sacrament of Confirmation. Who gave the Sacrament of Confirmation to the Catholic Church? Who were the first bishops that ever gave Confirmation to the people? In whose name did the Apostles give Confirmation to the people? You can read about this in the Bible. It is told in that part of the New Testament called the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 8, 12-17.)
Who comes to us in the Sacrament of Confirmation? Why does the Holy Ghost come into our soul? Why does the Holy Ghost wish to make our soul holy ? What Sacrament makes us strong in the life of grace? You know the Sacrament of Confirmation leaves a mark in our soul. It marks us as a soldier of Jesus Christ. God can see this mark in our soul though we cannot see it with our eyes. Could you tell anybody now about the mark which Confirmation leaves in your soul? How does Confirmation mark you ? Who can see this mark in your soul ? After Confirmation you must be ready, like a soldier, to die, if need be, for your Faith. For what did the martyrs suffer and die? What made the martyrs strong enough to die for the Faith? What grace do you receive in the Sacrament of Confirmation?
What does the Holy Ghost bring to you when He comes to you in Confirmation? How many special gifts does He bring to your soul? Tell me now about your sponsor. What does he do while the bishop is anointing you? Tell me about the name you take in Confirmation. In what position are you when the bishop is anointing you?
What is holy chrism? Of what is it a sign? What does the bishop do after he anoints you? Of what does the little blow on the cheek remind you? What does the bishop say whilst he anoints you? What mark does the Sacrament of Confirmation put upon your soul? What does Confirmation make you? What should a soldier of Jesus Christ be willing to do? What does the bishop do after he has anointed all? Of course you can be confirmed but once. For then you are always a soldier of Jesus Christ. In the same way you can be baptized but once.