The New Testament shows how the Holy Spirit assisted Christ in fulfilling his messianic mission. On receiving the baptism of john, Jesus saw descending on him and remaining with him. Christ Later promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit would help them also to bear fearless witness to their faith even before persecutors.
From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s wish, imparted the gifts of the Spirit to the newly baptized by the laying of hands to complete the grace of baptism. Hence it is that the letter to the Hebrews list among the first elements of Christian instruction the teaching about baptism and the laying on of hands.
The initiation of children into sacramental life is for the most part the responsibility and concern of Christian parents. They are to form and gradually increase a spirit of faith in the children and with the help of catechetical institutions, prepare them for the fruitful reception of the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. The role of the parents is expressed by the active participation in the celebrations of the sacraments.
THE SIGNS AND THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION
In treating the rite of Confirmation, it is fitting to consider the sign of anointing and what it signifies and imprints: a spiritual seal. Anointing, in Biblical and other ancient symbolism, is rich in meaning: oil is a sign of abundance and joy; it cleanses (anointing before and after a bath) and limbers (the anointing of athletes and wrestlers); oil is a sign of healing, since it is soothing to bruises and wounds; and it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength.
The pre-baptismal anointing with the oil of catechumens signifies cleansing and strengthening; the anointing of the sick expresses healing and comfort. The post-baptismal anointing with sacred chrism in Confirmation and ordination is the sign of consecration. By Confirmation Christians, that is, those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which he is filled, so that their lives may give off “the aroma of Christ.”
Here at St Catherine’s our Confirmation program runs from September to May for two years. Classes meet every Sunday at 9:45am for one hour before the 11:00am Mass.
Adult Confirmation classes at St Catherine’s are held together with our RCIA class. This class runs from October thru Easter each year, classes are on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm.