But the birth of Christians is in baptism” (Epist. Max., SS. Specifically, confirmation is necessary as a completion or perfection of the sacrament of baptism. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. These four points were condemned by the Council of Trent (supra I; cf. in 1752. Confirmation. At the beginning of the ceremony there is a general imposition of hands, the bishop meantime praying that the Holy Ghost may come down upon those who have already been regenerated: “send forth upon them thy sevenfold Spirit, the Holy Paraclete.” He then anoints the forehead of each with chrism, saying: “I sign thee with the sign of the cross and confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” Finally he gives each a slight blow on the cheek saying: “peace be with thee”. Still, nothing was said about the mode of institution—whether immediate or mediate, generic or specific. The “imposition”, however, is not that with which the rite begins but the laying on of hands which takes place in the act of anointing. is not, obligatory If possible, one's Confirmation sponsor should be___. The words accompanying the imposition of hands were generally a prayer calling upon God to send down the Holy Ghost and confer upon the neophytes the seven gifts. According to the Confession of Augsburg, it was instituted by the Church, and it has not the promise of the grace of God. Confirmation was also unique in that, while a priest could baptize, Confirmation was usually reserved for the bishop. (Catholic Catechism), Is Catholic Penance Necessary for Salvation and Forgiveness? III, c. ii, n. 8) says that after the baptismal immersion “the spiritual seal [signaculum] follows … when at the invocation of the bishop [sacerdotis] the Holy Ghost is infused”. Is Mary Our Mother? The sacrament of baptism is necessary for salvation. Presentation (Ogdensburg, N. below) the time was extended to the seventh year. Now it is clear that a man cannot advance to a perfect age unless he has first been born; in like manner, unless he has first been baptized he cannot receive the Sacrament of Confirmation” (Summ. Mark 16:16 implies that it is not the absence of Baptism that condemns a person but the absence of faith, and there are clearly other ways of coming to faith by the power of the Holy Spirit (reading or hearing the Word of God). (Catholic Catechism), How Do We Know Truth? From this office are excluded the father and mother of the candidate, members of a religious order (unless the candidate be a religious), public sinners, and those who are under public ban of interdict or excommunication. in P.L., XLI, col. 342; see Serm. Elsewhere (Sess. Finally, the most generally accepted view is that the anointing and the imposition of hands conjointly are the matter. Eccl. Effects. vii, a. We shall see, however, that this is capable of many different meanings. i). What about Catholic Divorce and Remarriage? But remember that baptism is necessary to salvation. Minister.—The bishop alone is the ordinary minister of confirmation. The unction runs bodily over us, but profits spiritually. On the other hand, its reception is obligatory “for all those who are able to understand and fulfill the Commandments of God and of the Church.” As to the gravity of the obligation, some theologians hold that an unconfirmed person would commit mortal sin if he refused the sacrament. vii, q. “The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.” [CCC 1257] God cannot change His mind. Just as the natural birth takes place at once so does the spiritual regeneration in like manner, but it finds, however, its perfection in confirmation” (Church History of Ireland, Dublin, 1880, I, p. 149). in Gen.”, disp. A. Theiner, Acta Genuina SS. Christ (Luke, iv, 18) applies to Himself the words of Isaias (lxi, 1): “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, wherefore he hath anointed me to preach the gospel”. 1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. Are Christians incomplete without Catholic Confirmation? cremon. Did Mary Ascend to Heaven? In other words, faith or belief is what is necessary for salvation. Hartel, p. 785) is rendered by nocosmad, cosmait (confirmabat, confirmatio) in a very ancient Irish homily on St. Patrick found in the fourteenth century, “Leabar Breac” (op. The Fathers considered that the rites of initiation (baptism, confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist) were instituted by Christ, but they did not enter into any minute discussion as to the time, place, and manner of the institution, at least of the second of these rites. The opinion of Alexander of Hales, referred to by St. Thomas, was as follows: the Apostles conferred the Holy Ghost by mere imposition of hands; this rite, which was not properly a sacrament, was continued until the ninth century, when the Holy Ghost inspired the Fathers of the Council of Meaux in the choice of the matter and form, and endowed these with sacramental efficacy (Spiritu Sancto instigante et viriulem ranch/candi prceslante). This would ultimately be to conceive the way of salvation as being man's way to God and not God's way to man. (Catholic Catechism), Was Mary Always Saved? Confirmation imparts (I) an increase of sanctifying grace which makes the recipient a “perfect Christian‘; (2) a special sacramental grace consisting in the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost and notably in the strength and courage to confess boldly the name of Christ; (3) an indelible character by reason of which the sacrament cannot be received again by the same person. When does someone receive the Holy Spirit according to the Bible? But the definition that “all the sacraments were instituted by Christ” (Sess. The Fifth Council of Milan, under St. Charles Borromeo, insisted that a candidate whose name was “vile, ridiculous, or quite unbecoming for a Christian” should receive another at Confirmation” (cf. Bait. xxvii); “oil also for a most sweet unguent, wherewith they who already have been initiated by baptism are sealed, and put on the armor of the Holy Spirit” (In Joel.) 250.) The Council of Elvira decreed that those who had been baptized privately in case of necessity should afterwards be taken to the bishop “to be made perfect by the imposition of hands” (can. The Sacrament of Confirmation is a striking instance of the development of doctrine and ritual in the Church. Having first sealed them with the holy ointment upon the forehead, and eyes, and nostrils, and mouth, and ears, and sealing them we say, `The seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost‘ (can. ; this ceremony was performed by a bishop only, and could not be repeated. (Catholic Catechism), Is Mary the Cause of Salvation? This condition, however, refers only to lawful reception; the sacrament is validly received even by those in mortal sin. [24] And Simon answered, ‘Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.’” (ESV), Acts 19:4–6 “And Paul said, 'John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” [5] On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Sponsors.—The Church prescribes under pain of grievous sin that a sponsor, or godparent, shall stand for the person confirmed. As Peter the Lombard declares: Pontifex per impositionem manes confirmandosungitin fronte (IV Sent., dist. And he said: In what then were you baptized? and when he saw that they did not speak with tongues, was any of you so perverse of heart as to say `These have not received the Holy Ghost?’ (In Ep. It is in this sense that confirmation is said to be necessary for salvation; not that salvation cannot be attained without confirmation, but that it is the most becoming means to attaining eternal life. 313.) A striking passage, which was made much use of by the Fathers and the Schoolmen, is that of St. Paul: “He that confirmeth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who also hath sealed us, and given us the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts” (II Cor., i, 20, 21). (Catholic Catechism), Is Catholic Eucharist Necessary for Salvation? Review’, I, 161.). VII, De Conf., C. iii). It is certain that the sacrament is validly and lawfully administered in the Church; but this does not solve the theological questions regarding its institution, matter, form, and minister. They must, however, use chrism blessed by a patriarch. Th., III, Q. lxxii, a. (Catholic Catechism), Is Peter the First Pope (Bishop of Rome)? This account of the practice and teaching of the Apostles proves that the ceremony was no mere examination of those already baptized, no mere profession of faith or renewal of baptismal vows. De Augustinis, “De re sacramentaria”, 2d ed., Rome, 1889), I. (Catholic Catechism), What Is Catholic Baptism? Confirmation is not so necessary for salvation that we could not be saved without it, for it is not given to infants even in danger of death; nevertheless, there is a divine command obliging all to receive it, if possible. Matter and Form.—There has been much discussion among theologians as to what constitutes the essential matter of this sacrament. (Romans 8:9). ); that it was instituted when Christ pronounced the words, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost“, or on the day of Pentecost, but this may refer not to the rite but to the thing signified, viz. And the Council of Laodicea: “Those who have been converted from the heresies … are not to be received before they anathematize every heresy … and then after that, those who were called faithful among them, having learned the creeds of the faith, and having been anointed with the holy chrism, shall so communicate of the holy mystery” (can. (For the manner of this consecration and for other details, historical and liturgical, see Chrism.) Where does the Bible describe God’s grace as needing to be “perfected”? Of course this refers only to the Western Church. Babyl., VII, p. 501). We can follow the development through the labors of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, St. Anselm his successor, Abelard, Hugh of St. Victor, Peter Lombard (Sent., IV, dist. Confirmation, besides being one of the sacraments necessary for salvation, also provides Catholics with other benefits, says the Catechism: 11). Confirmation, a sacrament in which the Holy Ghost is given to those already baptized in order to make them strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ. We can, indeed, detect much more than the mere germs of it in Holy Scripture; but we must not expect to find there an exact description of the ceremony as at present performed, or a complete solution of the various theological questions which have since arisen. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV), Acts 8:14–17 “Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, [15] who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, [16] for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. ii, q. This writer also quotes (ibid.) He says that the rite was instituted by God (Jesus Christ? vii); then branching out into the two distinct schools of Dominicans (Albertus Magnus and St. Thomas) and Franciscans (Alexander of Hales, St. Bonaventure, and Duns Scotus). 1) he had said plainly that Christ had instituted the sacrament and had Himself administered it (Matt., xix). Leo XIII, writing June 22, 1897, to the Bishop of Marseilles, commends most heartily the practice of confirming children before their first communion as being more in accord with the ancient usage of the Church. What does it mean to be “perfected by the Holy Spirit with the gift of Christ’s fullness”? In general, the councils and synods direct the priests to admonish the people regarding the confirmation of their children. CANON IV.- If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification; – though all (the sacraments) are not necessary … Who said: In John’s baptism. XXII I) the council declared that “bishops are superior to priests; they administer the Sacrament of Confirmation; they ordain the ministers of the Church; and they can perform many other things over which functions others of an inferior rank have no power”. The sacraments are the vehicles of grace which they convey. Again, in the Epistle to the Hebrews (vi, 1-4) the writer reproaches those whom he addresses for falling back into their primitive imperfect knowledge of Christian truth; “whereas for the time you ought to be masters, you have need to be taught again what are the first elements of the words of God” (Heb., v, 12). Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider: “the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace” (CCC 1285) “the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism” (CCC 1288) “The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the … The need of a bishop to administer the sacrament in Maryland and Pennsylvania was urged by Bishop Challoner in a report to the Propaganda, August 2, 1763. As to the gravity of the obligation, opinions differ, some theologians holding that an unconfirmed person would commit mortal sin if he refused the sacrament, others that the sin would be at most venial unless the refusal implied contempt for the sacrament. This has often been granted to missionaries. St. Thomas, “Summa. (Catholic Catechism), Is It True that Mary Never Died? In Acts 8:14-17 we read a description where the people of Samaria had heard and received the word of God and been baptized in the name of Jesus. They did not define anything specific about the institution by Christ; though in treating of the sacraments in general they had already defined that “all the sacraments of the New Law were instituted by Christ our Lord” (Sess. Without confirmation do Christians have the Holy Spirit? Trid., I, p. 383 sqq.). Children were brought to him for confirmation from the secluded parts of the country; and he ministered to those who had been recently born again in Christ the grace of the Holy Spirit by the imposition of hands, `placing his hand on the head of each, and anointing them with the chrism which he had blessed (manum imponens super caput singulorum, linens unctione consecrate quam benedixerat; Beda, “Vita Cuth.”, c. xxix, xxxii in P.L., XCIV, Oper. carnis, n. 8): “The flesh is washed that the soul may be made stainless. In contrast with this diversity as to the form there is complete agreement that the sole minister is a bishop. (Catholic Catechism), Does Peter Call Himself a Pope or Bishop? Another great African Father speaks with equal clearness of confirmation. Earlier writers (e. g. Hugh of St. Victor, “De Sacram.”, ii, and Peter Lombard, “Sent.”, IV, dist. 4. Confirmation is a ceremony … He then continues to answer that Baptism is necessary in the first way, simply and absolutely, while Confirmation which perfects Baptism is necessary in the second way. From both their practice and their teaching we learn that the Church made use of a rite distinct from baptism; that this consisted of imposition of hands, anointing, and accompanying words; that by this rite the Holy Ghost was conferred upon those already baptized, and a mark or seal impressed upon their souls; that, as a rule, in the West the minister was a bishop, whereas in the East he might be a simple priest. So one must confess before he can be baptized for remission of sins. III, Q. lxxii, a. (5) The Council of Trent did not decide the questions discussed by the Schoolmen. Nothing whatever was said about the form of words to be used; and regarding the matter they merely condemned any one who should maintain “that they who ascribe any virtue to the sacred chrism of confirmation offer an outrage to the Holy Ghost” (can. Again, Confirmation was necessary before receiving Communion. And in the seventeenth catechesis on the Holy Ghost, he speaks of the visit of Peter and John to communicate to the Samaritans the gift of the Holy Ghost by prayer and the imposition of hands. PP., VI, p. 649). This they accounted for by the fewness of bishops, and they recognized that the validity of such administration (unlike the case of Holy orders) is a mere matter of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. They were instituted by Christ and given to the Church to administer. St. Hilary speaks of “the sacraments of baptism and of the Spirit“; and he says that “the favor and gift of the Holy Spirit were, when the work of the Law ceased, to be given by the imposition of hands and prayer” (In Matt., c. iv, c. xiv). It consists of the examination of the candidate in Christian doctrine by the pastors or members of the consistory, and the renewal by the candidate of the profession of faith made for him at the time of his baptism by his godparents. “These were miracles suited to the times…. et consummare, i.e. vii, q. A further consequence is the spiritual relationship which the person confirming and the sponsor contract with the recipient and with the recipient’s parents. However, like his friendly rival St. Thomas, he also modified his view in a later work (Breviloquium, p. vi. The ceremony is considered to be so well known to the faithful that no further description is necessary. 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