When I made my Confirmation, I did not fully understand the significance of the Sacrament. While I’m certain my teachers did a wonderful job preparing me in an academic sense, my mind and heart were just not completely open to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit coming into my life.
Of course, it’s important to know the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, knowledge, piety, wonder) and what the Catechism teaches us about the Sacrament of Confirmation, but it is also important to open yourself up to all the gifts that God wants to give you.
Your Confirmation is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. Do not let it pass you by without taking the time to really contemplate the power and the beauty of this Sacrament. We have 7 tips that will help you prepare for Confirmation day.
What Happens At Confirmation?
7 Ways to Make Your Confirmation Life-Changing
1. Pray Daily to the Holy Spirit
Most likely, you address most of your prayers to God or Jesus. During this time of preparing for your Confirmation begin incorporating the Holy Spirit into your day. It can be as simple as waking up in the morning and saying, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Or, you can find a prayer like this one to recite daily:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. And kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you will renew the face of the earth. Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit you have taught the hearts of your faithful. In the same Spirit help us to relish what is right and always rejoice in your consolation.We ask this through Christ our Lord.Amen.
2. Choose Your Sponsor Wisely
It can be tempting to choose someone “cool” to be your sponsor, but in this situation look for someone who is more than just fun to hang out with. Choose a person that you see living out his or her faith and going to Mass regularly. Make sure it is someone you would be comfortable asking questions about the faith to or getting advice from about life situations.
3. Find a Saint You Connect With
Again, don’t just go with the popular Saints that everyone else is choosing or a Saint with a really cool sounding name. Take time to pray about this (“Lord, lead me to a Saint.”) and study some of the lives of the Saints. Find one who has a story you can relate to.
4. Make Your Service Hours Meaningful
Most of the time, service is part of the requirement to make your Confirmation, but even if it is not required by your Parish, find time to do something on your own. Don’t just hurry through this commitment or find easy ways to earn hours. Invest time in a service project that will help you grow in the Lord.
5. Go to Confession
If it is not offered through your Confirmation program, make sure that you go to Confession before the day of your Confirmation. To receive the fullness of the gifts of Confirmation, you must be in a state of grace, meaning free from sin.
6. Be Aware of All that is Going to Happen
You’ll probably go over the logistics a few times in your classes, but take a few minutes on your own to really envision what is going to be taking place.
The Bishop will pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit over you. This happens when the Bishop extends his hands over you. He’s asking the Holy Spirit to give you the very same gifts that were given to Mary, the Apostles, and all the Saints that have gone before you. Try to imagine what it looks like to have the Holy Spirit come down upon you.
You will be anointed with oil. Read what the Catechism has to say about this. “…oil is a sign of abundance and joy; it cleanses (anointing before and after a bath) and limbers (the anointing of athletes and wrestlers); oil is a sign of healing, since it is soothing to bruises and wounds; and it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength.” Think about all that this oil signifies: You are given joy, cleansed of your sin, strengthened, healed from past wounds and hurts, and you are made beautiful in Christ. Let the power of that sink in.
You are sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit. This should bring you great comfort and a sense of protection. To be sealed means to be “secured, locked, bolted”. You are locked into the Holy Spirit. That means that once you are confirmed, you are forever secure in the Holy Spirit.
You will give and receive the Sign of Peace. This aspect of the Sacrament helps us remember the importance of our community. Together the Church is the Body of Christ. You are part of that. We encourage, support, and uplift one another in our journey to Heaven.
7. Let this be the Beginning of Your Faith Journey
Confirmation is the beginning of your faith journey. It is time for you to step-up and take ownership of your spiritual life. Your parents, sponsor, and other spiritual leaders will be able to guide you, but you should be the one that takes the initiative to grow in faith. Pray daily, attend Mass, read spiritual books, and make choices that reflect your Christian values. Finding a youth group to attend can really help you learn how to live out your faith. It may sound difficult, but remember when you are confirmed, you are given all the tools and gifts necessary to live the Christian life.
If you are willing to open your heart to receive all that God wants for you in this Sacrament, your life will be filled with the joy of the Lord. The Catechism is very clear on the effects that Confirmation will have on you,
“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: Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.” (CCC 1303)
Be assured of the prayers of the Catholic-Link team for those preparing to be confirmed this year! May God bless you.