The sacrament of Confirmation completes those other sacraments (Baptism and First Holy Communion) which initiate us into the Christian life. In the early Church (and the Eastern Churches to this day) the sacraments of initiation were administered in one continuous rite at the Easter Vigil, but in the Western Church it became customary for children to be baptised in infancy but only confirmed in later years, often as adolescents . The sacrament bestows a deeper participation in the spiritual life which will enable the candidates to share more fully in the life of the Church and actively take up their responsibilities as more mature Christians, serving God and witnessing to his kingdom.

The preparation course looks at the gifts and activity of the Holy Spirit to prepare candidates for the laying on of hands and anointing with the oil of Chrism which the Bishop (or a delegated priest) will bestow with the words, “N., be sealed with the Holy Spirit”. Like anything that is sealed, this gift of God is not easily lost – it is meant to be for life and to be well used in Christ-like, self-giving service.

Confirmation nowadays is usually either for young people of secondary school age (normally years 7 to 9) or for adults. The programme for young people is run every two or three years to ensure that a group of good numbers can prepare together. For adults see the webpage on Adult Faith Formation.

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