Confirmation

IMPORTANT 06/01/21

Please note that all Sacramental preparations have been suspended until further notice. If you have an enquiry to be seen to at a later date, please send an email to parish@middlesbroughrccathedral.org.

What actually is confirmation?

Confirmation establishes young adults as full-fledged members of the Catholic faith. This sacrament is called Confirmation because the faith given in Baptism is now confirmed and made stronger. In Baptism, parents and godparents make promises to renounce Satan and pledge belief in God and the Church on your behalf. At Confirmation, you renew those same promises, this time speaking for yourself.

During Confirmation, the focus is on the Holy Spirit, who confirmed the apostles on Pentecost and gave them courage to practice their faith. We believe that the same Holy Spirit confirms us during the Sacrament of Confirmation and gives us those same gifts which the apostles received in the upper room in Jerusalem.

BUT REALLY, ISN'T IT JUST WHERE YOU CHOOSE A NEW NAME?

It is true that we get to choose a new name of a Saint who you wish to be a role model in your life. But we gain much more than this! We also gain the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. These gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude (courage), knowledge, piety, and a fear of the Lord. These gifts are supernatural graces given to the soul. We also gain the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit: charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity — human qualities which can be activated by the Holy Spirit in a fuller sense. Importantly, the Sacrament of Confirmation is a gift... but like all gifts given to us, it is down to us to actually accept, embrace and make use of them.

Being confirmed in the Church means accepting responsibility for your faith and ultimately your destiny. Confirmation is the recognition that you must do what is right, not for recognition or reward, but merely because it is the right thing to do.

What does the ritual involve?

The Confirmation ceremony usually takes place during Mass with the Bishop present. The Bishop wears red vestments to symbolize the red tongues of fire seen hovering over the heads of the apostles at Pentecost. Each person wishing to be confirmed comes forward with his or her sponsor. The bishop will then anoint you with the oil of Chrism and make the Sign of the Cross on your forehead while saying your chosen Confirmation name and “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Sounds good, how do i or my child go about getting confirmed?

At the Cathedral, the confirmation program is a preparation course of around 10 weekly sessions. It usually starts in the autumn. For those who wish to be confirmed, please enquire at parish@middlesbroughrccathedral.org or speak to a member of the clergy after Mass.