What is the Sacrament of Confirmation?

Mission Lab

Confirmation is a sacrament that confirms or strengthens the life of the Spirit which was given to us at Baptism. In virtue of this sacrament, the faithful are obliged to spread and defend the Faith as true witnesses of Christ.

The principal sign of Confirmation is made by the bishop or priest, when he lays his hand upon the forehead of the candidate, anoints him with chrism [consecrated olive oil and balsam], and prays, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

This sacrament, which seals a candidate with the Spirit, is linked with the other sacraments of Christian initiation—Baptism and the Eucharist.

After Baptism, through the Sacrament of Confirmation, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit again to Christian souls with the new grace and new strength that are needed in Christian lives. In the third century, St. Cyprian wrote: “They who are baptized…are presented to the Bishops…and by our prayers and the imposition of hands they receive the Holy Spirit and are perfected with the seal of the Lord” (Epistle 73)

Candidates renew their baptismal vows before Confirmation because of the intimate connection between Confirmation and Baptism.