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Reflecting on the Sacrament of Confirmation Jun 7, 2024

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Fr Gerard Photo
Fr Gerard Photo

Reflecting on the Sacrament of Confirmation

By the time you read this, 64 of our amazing young parishioners would have received their Sacrament of Confirmation which occurred on Friday evening with Bishop Brian Heenan. I would like to extend my congratulations and convey how proud I am of their enthusiasm for learning, hard work and prayerfulness over the six weeks of formation.

The Sacrament of Confirmation has been on my mind for some time now and as the Leader of the Sacramental Program, I want to ensure that I understand the fundamentals of this ritual before teaching it. May this reflection enkindle memories of your own Confirmation and evoke the gifts of the Holy Spirit within your heart.

The Sacrament of Confirmation
Scripturally, it can be found in many places most notably Acts 8:14-17.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Ritually it contains four parts:
1) The Calling Forth of the Candidates reminds candidates that God calls us each by name and that our parents continue the act of co-creation with God, and like Adam in the Book of Genesis, are given the privilege to partake in naming creation.

2) The Renewal of Baptismal Promises allows the candidates to confirm the promises of faith that their parents made on their behalf at Baptism. This is based from the Creed which contains the basic tenants of the Catholic Faith.

3) The Laying on of Hands is an ancient gesture which communicates blessing and commissioning. It calls forth the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be stirred anew. It can be linked all the way back to the Apostles and is even referenced in the Old Testament.

4) The Anointing with Chrism symbolises being set apart, being made holy to do God’s work. Those who are Confirmed are now responsible for taking faith as their own and commissioned to share their faith with others. It also denotes being sealed and strengthened by the Holy Spirit making them more aware of the inner workings of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall
be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.”

Have a great week. Fr Gerard

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