Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 27: The Sacraments, Part 2: Confirmation

A brief catechesis on Confirmation:

Confirmation likewise, as a ratification of baptism and together with baptism a sacrament of initiation, in conferring the fullness of the Holy Spirit and in bringing the Christian life to maturity, signifies and accomplishes thereby a greater conversion of the heart and brings about a more intimate and effective membership of the same assembly of the reconciled, which is the church of Christ.

The common quip about Confirmation comes to mind: a sacrament in search of a theology.

I think Confirmation can accomplish what Pope John Paul II lists here: bring Christian life to maturity, be a sign and reality of a deeper conversion, engage membership in the Church on a new level. Alas, sometimes the first means a graduation, the second can sometimes be replaced by an exit from Christianity, and membership too often means the requirement for “adult” sacraments: matrimony and ordination.

Most formation for Confirmation doesn’t focus on penance and reconciliation. That other sacrament is urged–effectively required. It seems that finding some Catholic awareness of the Holy Spirit is mountain enough to climb. When searching for theology, one doesn’t always have time to cover everything leading to adult faith.

This document is Copyright © 1984 – Libreria Editrice Vatican. The link on the Vatican site is here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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