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Confirmation Day


Confirmation
from Wikipedia, the free encclopedia

Confirmation is a rite in many Christian Churches.

Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and a large portion of Anglicans, view it as a sacrament, which in the East is conferred on infants immediately after baptism, but in the West is usually administered later.

According to canon law for the Latin or Western Catholic Church, the sacrament is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion (generally taken to be about 7), unless the Episcopal Conference has decided on a different age, or there is danger of death or, in the judgement of the minister, a grave reason suggests otherwise (canon 891 of the Code of Canon Law). The number of Episcopal Conferences that have set a later age has diminished in recent decades, and even in those countries a bishop may not refuse to confer the sacrament on younger children who request it, provided they are baptized, have the use of reason, are suitably instructed and are properly disposed and able to renew the baptismal promises (letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published in its 1999 bulletin, pages 537-540).

In Protestant Churches, the rite tends to be seen rather as a mature statement of faith by an already baptised person, usually an adolescent, and thus as a rite of passage, which, though not as big a change as a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, holds a similar meaning.

Several secular, mainly Humanist, organizations direct "civil confirmations" for older children, as a statement of their life stance, an equivalent alternative to traditional religious ceremonies for children of that age.

Some regimes have as a matter of policy fostered the replacement of Christian rituals such as confirmation with non-religious ones. In the historically mainly Protestant German Democratic Republic (East Germany), for example, "the Jugendweihe (youth dedication) gradually supplanted the Christian practice of Confirmation." The Jugendweihe, a concept that first appeared in 1852, is described as "a solemn initiation marking the transition from youth to adulthood that was developed in opposition to Protestant and Catholic Churches' Confirmation."


Confirmation Articles

Catholic Confirmation | Catholic Confirmation Gifts | Catholic Confirmation Name Change | Catholic Confirmation Online | Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church | Free Ware Catholic Confirmation Study Material


Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church


The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Received in the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church

In the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church, we learn the implications of our new life in the Holy Spirit:

All powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by water and the Holy Spirit
you freed your sons and daughters from sin
And gave them new life.
Send your Holy Spirit upon them
to be their helper and guide.
Give them the spirit of [I] wisdom and [2] understanding,
the spirit of [3] right judgment and [4] courage,
the spirit of [5] knowledge and [6] reverence.
Fill them with the spirit of [7] wonder and awe in your presence.
(Rite of Confirmation)

This prayer names the traditional "Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit." The biblical origin of these seven gifts is found in Isaiah (11:1-3) where he is foretelling the qualities of the Messiah.

But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.

[The ancient Greek and Latin translations of this passage read "piety" for "fear of the Lord" in line six; this gives us our traditional seven gifts.]

These seven gifts are the signs that the Messiah will be guided by the Spirit. The relation of these gifts to the sacrament of Confirmation becomes clear when we remember that the word "Messiah" (Christos in Greek) means "anointed." Jesus was "anointed," filled with the Holy Spirit at his baptism. At Confirmation we are anointed with the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Gospels we see how these seven gifts form Jesus' personality. They are characteristic of his activity. Consider the wisdom expressed in his parables; his understanding of the poor and the sick; his right judgment when tested by the Pharisees; his courage to continue the journey to Jerusalem where he surmised what fate awaited him; his knowledge of God's will; his reverence for his heavenly Father; his awe before the wonders of creation—the lilies of the field, the birds of the air....The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are the manifestation of the Divine Power active in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Article Source: http://www.americancatholic.org/UpdateYourFaith/answers.asp?QP0898


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