In the sacrament of Confirmation we receive the Holy Spirit 27 Compendium of the Catechism

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In the sacrament of Confirmation we receive the Holy Spirit

  • 27

Compendium of the Catechism

  • 265. What place does Confirmation have in the divine plan of salvation?

  • 1285-1288 1315

  • In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the awaited Messiah and on the entire messianic people. The whole life and mission of Jesus were carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit. The apostles received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and proclaimed “the great works of God” (Acts 2:11). They gave the gift of the same Spirit to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands. Down through the centuries, the Church has continued to live by the Spirit and to impart him to her children.


  • The Apostles underwent a great change after the descent of the Holy Spirit. Before that event, they were afraid; afterwards, they preached the Word of God fearlessly and spoke in foreign languages.

  • In a similar way, the faithful receive the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of confirmation.

  • This lesson could help you to understand better the nature and the effects of this sacrament. And it can also be useful for those who are not baptized, as it will serve as a preparation to receive the sacrament with joy as soon as possible.

Main ideas

1. The Apostles received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost; we likewise receive that same Spirit in the sacrament of confirmation

  • Jesus appeared to His apostles in the upper room the evening of His resurrection. He breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). But on the day of Pentecost they were filled with the Holy Spirit and His exceptional gifts (Cf. Acts 2:1-4).

  • We also receive the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of baptism along with supernatural grace. But Our Lord instituted the sacrament of confirmation as necessary to receive the fullness of baptismal grace.

  • Thus, we commit ourselves more fully as authentic witnesses of Christ, to expand and defend the Christian faith with our words and deeds, and to show ourselves to others as true disciples of Christ.

2. Effects of the sacrament of Confirmation

  • In a similar way to what happened on the day of Pentecost, this sacrament produces in our souls the following gifts :

3. Minister, subject, matter and form of the sacrament of confirmation

  • The ordinary minister is the bishop; the extraordinary minister is the priest who has this faculty by common law or by special delegation from the proper authority.

  • The subject of this sacrament is any baptized person who has not received it. He who receives this sacrament should be in the state of grace, should know the main mysteries of faith and should approach this sacrament with due reverence and devotion.

  • The matter of this sacrament is the anointing with chrism (a mixture of oil and balsam, consecrated by the bishop) which is done during the imposition of the hands. The anointing signifies one of the effects of this sacrament: the strengthening of faith.

  • The form is the words pronounced by the minister: " Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit

4. Valuing confirmation highly

  • It is necessary to struggle in order to preserve the graces of this sacrament. Only by doing so, will we be strong enough to profess our Christian faith firmly. We can do it by frequently receiving the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist.

  • Only in the case of extraordinary circumstances would Our Lord ask us to be heroes by shedding our blood to confess our faith in Christ. But He asks us to make an effort in the little battles of daily life :

    • in our relations with our parents and brothers, in fulfilling our work and duties, in helping our fellow men generously, in being faithful to the doctrine of the faith and in spreading it with our example, friendship and good advice.

Resolutions for Christian life

Resolutions to move forward

  • Be willing to receive the sacrament of confirmation, if you have not yet received it. If you have received it, thank God for this great gift of the Holy Spirit.

  • Strive to live as a real Christian, with courage and without worrying about what others might say, knowing that confirmation makes us Christ’s witnesses.

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