IRC 9-10: The Celebration of Confirmation

With this post, we move to instruction on the confirmation liturgy itself.

First, this is how one confirms:

9. The sacrament of confirmation is conferred through the anointing with chrism on the forehead, which is done by the laying on of the hand, and through the words: BE SEALED WITH THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Laying of hands is “very important.”

The laying of hands on the candidates with the prayer “All-powerful God” does not pertain to the valid giving of the sacrament. But it is still to be regarded as very important: it contributes to the complete perfection of the rite and to a more thorough understanding of the sacrament. The priests who may at times be associated with the principal minister in conferring the sacrament join him in the laying on of hands on all the candidates, but say nothing.

A basic explanation of the rituals of laying hands and anointing:

The whole rite presents a twofold symbolism. The laying of hands on the candidates by the bishop and the concelebrating priests represents the biblical gesture by which the gift of the Holy Spirit is invoked and in a manner well sited to the understanding of the Christian people. The anointing with chrism and the accompanying words express clearly the effect of the giving of the Holy Spirit.

Important words on the chrism:

Signed with the perfumed oil, the baptized receive the indelible character, the seal of the Lord, together with the gift of the Spirit that conforms them more closely to Christ and gives them the grace of spreading “the sweet odor of Christ”.

10. The chrism is consecrated by the bishop in the Mass that is celebrated as a rule on Holy Thursday for this purpose.

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      Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
      This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rite of Confirmation, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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