What is confirmation?

Confirmation is a two-year preparation that involves retreats, confirmation classes, attending Mass, among other activities.

Sometimes, the newly-confirmed return to become confirmation facilitators themselves.

Confirmation, together with the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist, form the Sacraments of Initiation that are all intimately connected. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.

The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that God’s Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to sustain his mission. Their prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus the Messiah was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus on the occasion of his baptism by John.

Jesus’ entire mission occurred in communion with the Spirit. Before he died, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the apostles and to the entire church. After his death, he was raised by the Father in the power of the Spirit.

Those who believed in the apostles’ preaching were baptized and received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. The apostles baptized believers in water and the Spirit. Then they imparted the special gift of the Spirit through the laying on of hands.

By the second century, confirmation was also conferred by anointing with holy oil, which came to be called sacred chrism.

“This anointing highlights the name ‘Christian,’ which means ‘anointed’ and derives from that of Christ himself whom God ‘anointed with the Holy Spirit'” (CCC, no. 1289, citing Acts 10:38).

Confirmation represents the gifts bestowed on Jesus’ 12 apostles at Pentecost: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

It is the final sacrament bestowed before entering into full communion with the church.

At confirmation, a bishop anoints the forehead of the confirmation candidate while reciting, “Receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Peace be with you.”

To which the newly-confirmed replies, “And also with you.”

How can I become a confirmation candidate?

Our confirmation program is open to all high school-aged youth.

Confirmation candidates must provide proof of baptism (baptism certificate) and proof of first communion (first communion certificate).

These documents can be obtained by request at the church office (if these sacraments were received at St. Bernard), or at the church where the candidate was baptized or made their first communion.

Adult confirmation (18 years and older)

Adult confirmation classes for individuals who have been baptized, and have received their first communion, are offered at scheduled times in the parish.

Consult the parish office for dates and times; you may register in the parish office.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

Anyone 6 years or older who is not baptized must join our RCIA program (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults).

Normally, it is a two-year program.

In the RCIA program, at the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday), students receive all of the Sacraments of Initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist.

Anyone 18 and older who is baptized but needs the sacraments of the Eucharist (first communion) and confirmation should also enter the RCIA program.

You may register for RCIA in the parish office.