Sacrament of Confirmation
The Sacraments are part and parcel of our lives and so we continue our "capsule series" on each of the Sacraments, bringing you a few capsule paragraphs each day from both the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and the old Baltimore Catechism with this week devoted to the Sacrament of Confirmation, linked to Baptism and the Eucharist, both sacraments of which we have covered to this point and all three comprising the sacraments of intitiation.
No. 1285, pages 325-326 and no. 1315, page 333-334 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery; Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:
Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.
Cf. Roman Ritual, Rite of Confirmation (OC), Introduction 1.
For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
Lumen Gentium 11; cf. Ordo confirmationis, Introduction 2.
"Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8: 14-17).
From the Baltimore Catechism No. 2; Benziger Brothers, Inc. and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. No. 330, and No. 3, No. 671, page 139.
Q. What is Confirmation?
A. Confirmation is the sacrament through which the Holy Ghost comes to us in a special way to enable us to profess our faith as strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.
Confirmation means to make firm, to strengthen. The Bible, Acts 8:17 and 9:17 says that the Apostles imparted the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands.
Q. When was Confirmation instituted?
A. The exact time at which Confirmation was instituted is not known. But as this Sacrament was administered by the Apostles and numbered with the other Sacraments instituted by Our Lord, it is certain that He instituted this Sacrament also and instructed His Apostles in its use, at some time before His ascension into Heaven.