The Sacrament of Confirmation establishes adults as fully fledged members of the Christian faith and completes the initiation process of the Roman Catholic Church, wherein Baptismal Grace is strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit and confirmed by the laying on of hands, usually by the Bishop.
The Feast of Pentecost celebrates, not only the birthday of the Church, but the Confirmation of the apostles who received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and a ‘fear’ of the Lord, to confer upon them the courage and strength required in the practice of their faith, and ‘……..to go out and proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom to all nations.’
Human qualities, activated through the working of the Holy Spirit and known as the fruits of the Spirit, are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience. Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. In his letter to the Galatians, St Paul reminds us of the need for such qualities for living out our Christian faith.
Young people aged 13 or above are invited to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation each year. Candidates are normally enrolled in October each year and meet regularly with a Catechist or priest/deacon, except during school holidays. Parents and Sponsors are encouraged to help and support the candidates, whose decision it is to receive the Sacrament when the time comes. Candidates are expected to attend Mass and join in various activities during the course of the programme. The Sacrament is usually celebrated by Bishop Mark in June at a special mass organised by our LPA [Local Pastoral Area], held at St Albans in Macclesfield. If you are in your qualifying year and would like to be Confirmed, contact the priest or deacon care of the parish office.
The sacrament, together with Reception into the Roman Catholic Church, is available to adults baptised in other Christian denominations after a period of preparation through RCIA [Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults]. Please contact the priest or deacon via the parish office for further information.