“And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit." John 20:22.
By the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly united to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit (See Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1285). Confirmation is one of the seven Sacraments, and along with Baptism and Holy Eucharist, it is a Sacrament of Initiation. Catholics believe that Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
It roots us more deeply in the divine filiation (sonship) which makes us cry, "Abba! Father!";
It unites us more firmly to Christ;
It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
It renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
It gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church #1303).
In Confirmation, Catholics receive an increase of gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
In the Diocese of Duluth, to which we belong, the sacrament of Confirmation is usually received when a person is in 11th grade. The candidates are confirmed by the Bishop or a priest delegated by the Bishop. The Bishop anoints the candidates for Confirmation with consecrated oil, called Chrism, making the Sign of the Cross on their foreheads. He says, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit”. The confirmed respond, “Amen”. The Bishop says, “Peace be with you” and the response of the confirmed is, “And with your spirit."
During the Baptism of an infant, the parents and godparents of the child make promises, on behalf of the child, to reject Satan, to believe in God and to live according to the teachings of the Catholic Faith. At the time of Confirmation the candidates, now at an age capable of making promises, renew those baptismal promises for themselves. The reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is often seen as a time of coming to deeper maturity as a Catholic as one reaffirms his or her faith and pledges to live this faith as an adult.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6