Celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation
Confirmation will take place in the spring. The date has been set for May 11, 2024 with the Most Reverend Bishop Burbidge.
What is Confirmation?
The Sacrament of Confirmation, like Baptism and Eucharist, is a sacrament of initiation. By the Sacrament of Confirmation, the one who is confirmed is bound more perfectly to the Church and enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. It also offers the grace to give greater personal witness to Jesus.
At Confirmation, we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and confirm our baptismal promises. Greater awareness of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conferred through the anointing of chrism oil and the laying on of hands by the Bishop.
Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds. (CCC 1316)
Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, we renew our baptismal promises and commit to living a life of maturity in the Christian faith. As we read in the Lumen Gentium (the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church) from the Second Vatican Council:
Bound more intimately to the Church by the sacrament of confirmation, [the baptized] are endowed by the Holy Spirit with special strength; hence they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith both by word and by deed as true witnesses of Christ. (no. 11)
Scriptural Foundation for Confirmation
In the Acts of the Apostles, we read of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. While baptism is the sacrament of new life, confirmation gives birth to that life. Baptism initiates us into the Church and names us as children of God, whereas confirmation calls us forth as God’s children and unites us more fully to the active messianic mission of Christ in the world.
After receiving the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles went out and confirmed others, showing confirmation to be an individual and separate sacrament: Peter and John at Samaria (Acts 8:5-6, 14-17) and Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19:5-6). Also the Holy Spirit came down on Jews and Gentiles alike in Caesarea, prior to their baptisms. Recognizing this as a confirmation by the Holy Spirit, Peter commanded that they be baptized (cf. Acts 10:47).
Requirements for Confirmation Preparation
In the Arlington Diocese, preparation for Confirmation is a two-year process beginning when your child enters 7th grade. Reception of the sacrament usually takes place at the end of the eighth grade year. If your child is in high school and still in need of Confirmation, please contact our Director of Religious Education Shareen Klos.
Confirmation I (first year of preparation)
Students from public schools preparing for Confirmation are to attend parish religious education classes. Confirmation candidates must attend all classes, with only 3 (three) absences permissible with a note from the parents. They should be participating in our parish attending Sunday Mass at either St. Katharine Drexel Mission or St. Stephen the Martyr.
Students who are enrolled in a Catholic diocesan school may fulfill their Confirmation preparation through their school’s theology classes. However, they should be in our parish attending Sunday Mass at either St. Katharine Drexel Mission or St. Stephen the Martyr.
Confirmation II (second year of preparation)
In order to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, students are expected to meet the requirements below by the deadlines provided. Failure to meet these requirements may delay your child receiving Confirmation until the following year.
- Students are only allowed 3 (three) absences. By the 3rd absence, he or she is required to set an appointment with DRE and/or Pastor for a conference.
- Participate in a Confirmation retreat sponsored by the parish or approved by the Director of Religious Education prior to receiving Confirmation.
- Complete 10 service hours and a reflection essay.
– Service Hours Information page
- Confirmation candidates are required to study and select a saint after whom they would like to pattern their lives. This will be their patron saint and the name by which the Bishop will call them at the Confirmation Mass. The Candidate will be required to submit a full page written report about their saint. Candidate must have enough knowledge to answer any questions asked about their saint during their interview with the Pastor.
- A copy of the candidate’s baptismal certificates must be submitted to the Director of Religious Education.
- Candidates will need only 1 (one) sponsor. The sponsor will be involved in the student’s formation and will be asked to complete assignments with the Candidate.
The sponsor should be:
- Appointed by the candidate for Confirmation.
- Not be less than 16 years of age. Be a practicing Catholic, who has been confirmed and lives a life of Faith.
- Not bound by any canonical penalty, legitimately imposed or declared.
- Not to be parent of the student being confirmed. (Based on Canon Law 892, 893, and 874)
- Provide required Sponsorship form by the deadline.