Confirmation

Confirmation is the second of the sacraments of initiation, completing and perfecting the grace first received at Baptism (CCC 1285). The Catechism tells us that Confirmation roots us “more deeply in the divine filiation” (CCC 1316). In other words, it helps us grow as sons and daughters of God. One reason we receive two anointings, both Baptism and Confirmation, is because, in a sense, Christ did as well. He was anointed at his Baptism, but at the Incarnation there was also a type of anointing. Humanity was anointed with the Spirit when Christ’s divine nature assumed a human nature to itself in Mary’s womb – the Incarnation.

Christ’s public anointing took place as he rose out of the waters of the Jordan at his Baptism (Jn 1:32). Visibly indicating his acceptance of the will of the Father, he descended into the waters of the Jordan. As soon as he rose out of the water, the Spirit descended upon him and God’s voice rang out from heaven (Lk 3:22). This anointing, says Pope Benedict XVI, was “analogous to the anointing by which kings and priests in Israel were installed in office” (Jesus of Nazareth, 25).

Similarly, at Confirmation we receive our second anointing. Whereas Baptism brought us into the family and fully made us sons and daughters, Confirmation outfits us for our mission. Christ’s work has become our work. Baptism made us sons of God, but our goal is to be just like Christ. And he wasn’t only Son. He was also Messiah. So that is what we are called to be as well.Through the sacrament of Confirmation his anointing is extended to us. Just as he was sealed with the Holy Spirit, “he has put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Cor 1:22).

"In the Holy Spirit, we have from God a mighty ally and protector…. We must open our doors to Him, for He goes about seeking those who are worthy and searching for those on whom He may bestow His gifts."

St Cyril of Jerusalem