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On Confirmation - Lesson Fifteenth

Baltimore Catechism No. 2 (Confirmation Catechism)


Lesson Fourteenth of the Baltimore Catechism No. 2 examined the first of the sacraments, Baptism. Now, we turn to the second: Confirmation.

The Baltimore Catechism presents Confirmation in the Western practice; in the Eastern Church, Confirmation is performed immediately after Baptism, and is followed immediately by Holy Communion. Together, these three sacraments are known as the Sacraments of Initiation.

In Confirmation, the Holy Spirit strengthens us in the Faith.

The questions are numbered consecutively with Lesson Fourteenth. For more information and links to other resources, click on each question below.

166. Q. What is Confirmation?

A. Confirmation is a Sacrament through which we receive the Holy Ghost to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.

167. Q. Who administers Confirmation?

A. The bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation.

168. Q. How does the bishop give Confirmation?

A. The bishop extends his hands over those who are to be confirmed, prays that they may receive the Holy Ghost, and anoints the forehead of each with holy chrism in the form of a cross.

169. Q. What is holy chrism?

A. Holy chrism is a mixture of olive-oil and balm, consecrated by the bishop.

170. Q. What does the bishop say in anointing the person he confirms?

A. In anointing the person he confirms the bishop says: I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

171. Q. What is meant by anointing the forehead in the form of a cross?

A. By anointing the forehead with chrism in the form of a cross is meant, that the Christian who is confirmed must openly profess and practice his faith, never be ashamed of it, and rather die than deny it.

172. Q. Why does the bishop give the person he confirms a blow on the cheek?

A. The bishop gives the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek, to put him in mind that he must be ready to suffer everything, even death, for the sake of Christ.

173. Q. To receive Confirmation worthily must one be in the state of grace?

A. To receive Confirmation worthily it is necessary to be in the state of grace.

174. Q. What special preparation should be made to receive Confirmation?

A. Persons of an age to learn should know the chief mysteries of faith and the duties of a Christian, and be instructed in the nature and effects of this Sacrament.

175. Q. Is it a sin to neglect Confirmation?

A. It is a sin to neglect Confirmation, especially in these evil days when faith and morals are exposed to so many and such violent temptations.

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