THE SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION: The Foundation of Every Christian Life

Confirmation is a sacrament received by the baptized to impart sanctifying grace and strength to be perfect Christians. The form is the Bishop putting his hands upon the person to be confirmed.

The age for the reception of confirmation varies by country or even diocese; in Latin-rite Catholic churches it ranges from seven to fifteen; recipients must have attained the age of reason. In Eastern-rite Catholic churches, as in other Eastern churches, neonates are confirmed immediately after baptism (as was done historically in the Catholic church), via the rite of chrismation.

Adult converts from Protestantism who were previously baptized with a trinitarian formula are received into communion in the Catholic Church by confirmation. Converts from Eastern Orthodoxy or Oriental Orthodoxy who were chrismated in those Eastern churches are not confirmed, because their chrismation in an Eastern church, unlike confirmation in Protestant churches, is held to be a valid confirmation, and confirming someone who has already been confirmed is forbidden by one of the doctrines of the Council of Trent.

In Latin-Rite Catholic churches, usually the bishop is the ordinary minister of this sacrament. In certain circumstances a parish priest may administer it after having received permission from the bishop. In the case of adult converts, this permission is automatic. In Eastern-Rite Catholic churches, the usual minister of this sacrament is the parish priest. When the bishop does not administer the sacrament personally, his presence is represented by the sacred chrism or myron, which the bishop blesses on Holy Thursday each year.

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church offers the Sacrament of Confirmation to children in their third year of high school. Preparation for the Sacrament takes place within the context of the Quest program. For more information, please contact the Director of High School and Young Adult Ministry at (630) 355-8980 ext. 117.