Tuesday was Confirmation Day in Castleisland. Though always historic and unique to families involved, this one was doubly so as it was Bishop Ray Browne’s first time to administer the sacrament in Castleisland since his appointment as Bishop of Kerry in July of 2013.
There were people at Tuesday’s ceremony here in Castleisland who expressed strong feelings at the packs of children running in and out through and banging doors without care or control. Many felt that this type of behaviour was hugely disrespectful to the dignity of the day, to the House of God and to those who were there to receive the sacrament – and to their families.
Coming of Age
The sacrament of confirmation completes the sacrament of baptism – according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. If baptism is the sacrament of re-birth to a new and supernatural life, confirmation is the sacrament of maturity and coming of age. The real confession of Christ consist in this ‘that the whole man submits himself to Truth, in the judgment of his understanding, in the submission of his will and in the consecration of his whole power of love. To do this, poor-spirited man is only able when he has been confirmed by God’s grace’
This confirmation in the power of the Holy Spirit leading to a firm profession of faith has always been the particular effect which Catholic tradition has ascribed to the sacrament. It is effect which complements and completes that of baptism.
Laying on of Hands
Confirmation is a true sacrament instituted by Christ and different from baptism. It is administered by laying-on of hands and anointing with chrism accompanied by prayer. The chrism is blessed by the bishop and the bishop administers the sacrament. All baptized persons can and should be confirmed. The effect of the sacrament of confirmation is to give strength in faith and for the confession of faith and to impress an indelible character.