THE CATECHISM OF ST. PIUS X

Chrism or Confirmation

1 Q: What is the sacrament of Confirmation?

A: Confirmation is a sacrament which gives us the Holy Ghost, imprints on our souls the mark of a soldier of Jesus Christ, and makes us perfect Christians.

2 Q: How does the sacrament of Confirmation make us perfect Christians?

A: The sacrament of Confirmation makes us perfect Christians by confirming us in the faith and perfecting the other virtues and gifts received in Baptism; hence it is called Confirmation.

3 Q: What gifts of the Holy Ghost are received in Confirmation?

A: The gifts of the Holy Ghost received in Confirmation are these seven: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and the Fear of the Lord.

4 Q: What is the matter of this sacrament?

A: The matter of this sacrament, besides the imposition of hands by the bishop, is the anointing of the forehead of the baptized with sacred chrism; and for this reason it is also called the sacrament of Chrism, that is Anointing.

5 Q: What is sacred Chrism?

A: Sacred Chrism is oil of olive mingled with balsam, and consecrated by the bishop on Holy Thursday.

6 Q: What do the oil and balsam in this sacrament signify?

A: In this sacrament the oil, which is unctuous and strengthening, signifies the abounding grace which is diffused over the soul of the Christian to confirm him in his faith; and the balsam, which is fragrant and prevents corruption, signifies that the Christian, strengthened by this grace, is enabled to give forth a good odor of Christian virtue and preserve himself from the corruption of vice.

7 Q: What is the form of the sacrament of Confirmation?

A: The form of the sacrament of Confirmation is this: "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. Amen."

8 Q: Who is the minister of the sacrament of Confirmation?

A: The ordinary minister of the sacrament of Confirmation is the bishop alone.

9 Q: How does the bishop administer Confirmation?

A: In administering the sacrament of Confirmation the bishop first stretches his hands over those to be confirmed, and invokes the Holy Ghost upon them; next, he anoints the forehead of each one with sacred chrism in the form of a cross, saying the words of the form; then he gives each one confirmed a light stroke on the cheek with his right hand, saying: Peace be with you; finally, he solemnly blesses all those he has confirmed.

10 Q: Why is the anointing made on the forehead?

A: The anointing is made on the forehead, where signs of fear and shame appear, in order that he who is confirmed may understand that he should not blush at the name and profession of a Christian, nor fear the enemies of his faith.

11 Q: Why is a light stroke given to the person confirmed?

A: A light stroke is given to the person confirmed to show him that he should be ready to bear all insults and endure all sufferings for the faith of Jesus Christ.

12 Q: Should all endeavor to receive the sacrament of Confirmation?

A: Yes, all should endeavor to receive the sacrament of Confirmation and to have those under them receive it.

13 Q: At what age is it advisable to receive the sacrament of Confirmation?

A: The age at which it is advisable to receive the sacrament of Confirmation is about the seventh year, because it is then that temptations usually begin, and the grace of the sacrament can be sufficiently discerned and a recollection be had of having received it.?

14 Q: What dispositions are required to receive worthily the sacrament of Confirmation?

A: To receive worthily the sacrament of Confirmation it is necessary to be in the grace of God; know the principal mysteries of our holy faith; and approach it with reverence and devotion.

15 Q: Would he who received Confirmation a second time be guilty of sin?

A: He would commit a sacrilege; because Confirmation is one of the sacraments that imprint a character on the soul and hence may be received only once.

16 Q: What should a Christian do to preserve the grace of Confirmation?

A: To preserve the grace of Confirmation a Christian should pray often, do good works, and live according to the laws of Jesus Christ, in spite of human respect.

17 Q: Why are there also godfathers and godmothers in Confirmation?

A: In order that, by word and example, they may show the confirmed the way to eternal life and help him in the spiritual combat.

18 Q: What qualifications are required in sponsors?

A: They should be of proper age, Catholics, confirmed, instructed in the necessary truths of religion, and persons of good life.

19 Q: Does a sponsor in Confirmation contract any relationship with the confirmed and the parents of the confirmed?

A: The sponsor in Confirmation contracts the same spiritual relationship as is contracted in Baptism.