“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
A person is fully initiated into the Catholic Church by the reception of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion. Just as Baptism marks new life or birth in the faith, Confirmation marks growth or perfection in the faith. In Baptism, the graces conferred are focused inward. In Confirmation, the Catholic receives a special grace whereby faith is deepened and strengthened so that it now can be shared with others.
In Confirmation, we are strengthened to be Jesus’ disciples or witnesses. There are three responsibilities of confirmed Catholics:
- To defend the Faith
- To witness to the Faith
- To live more firmly the Baptismal promises
The Sacrament of Confirmation is received by an anointing on the person’s forehead, reminiscent of the anointing of athletes for strength in ancient times.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the ordinary minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation is the Bishop, the visible head of the local Church, who initiates each person into the whole community. For this reason, Confirmation is often separated from Baptism by a number of years, though the two Sacraments are closely related.
In the Diocese of Arlington, children are normally prepared for Confirmation during 8th grade. Children receive preparation from a parish or private Catholic school or our CCD classes. For those who are homeschooled, the use of an approved home school program can also instruct the Confirmandii (i.e. the child to receive Confirmation) to receive this august Sacrament.
Children in high school or any Catholic adult (18 and older) who is Baptized but has not received the Sacrament of Confirmation, should contact our Religious Education Office at 703-971-8541 or by email.