The Sacrament of Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace and through the gifts of the Holy Spirit helps us grow to Christian maturity: Holy Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation, and Confirmation is the second. By Confirmation the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Lord Jesus and His Church, and they are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of Christ and of the truth of His Gospel.
It roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father” It unites us more firmly to Christ. It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us. It strengthens our bond with the Church.
On several occasions in His preaching, the Lord Jesus promised an outpouring of God the Holy Spirit on His disciples, and this promise was fulfilled first on the Day of Resurrection and then more strikingly at Pentecost. St. Peter declared this outpouring of the Holy Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age. From that time on and in fulfillment of Christ’s command, the Apostles imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Holy Spirit to complete the grace of Baptism.
The imposition of hands, therefore, is the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation which perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church. Very early in the Church’s life this apostolic laying on of hands was accompanied by an anointing with perfumed oil called Sacred Chrism, the better to signify the gift of the Holy Spirit who anointed the Lord Jesus at His own Baptism. This anointing highlights the name “Christian,” which derives from the sacred title of Messiah (or Christ from the Greek translation), meaning “the Anointed One.”
All Catholic Christians should receive the Sacrament of Confirmation to complete their communion with Christ and be marked by the perfection of the baptismal priesthood of the faithful in order to proclaim more boldly and publicly that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Please see our "Faith Formation" section for details about CCD, RCIC, & RCIA.