The Sacrament of Confirmation

Q: What is Confirmation?

A: The Sacrament of Confirmation is the sacrament in which we receive the Holy Spirit, in order to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.
This sacrament is considered a very serious and consciously chosen step on the path to holiness of a young Christian.

The reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is the first step for the mature Christian on the way to becoming an active participant in the life and ministry of the Church, which is spreading the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is a Sacrament charged with responsibility. Confirmed Christians are urged to accept responsibility in the various tasks and roles in the Church and Parish and become active soldiers of Christ. This is for the proper functioning of the Church, for furthering its Mission and for the individuals own spiritual growth and sanctification.

Q: Who receives Confirmation?

A: Confirmation is generally administered to the youth studying in the 10th Grade of the present education system.

Otherwise, the candidate should be at least 16 years old.

Q: Is Confirmation mandatory?

A: Yes. However, it can be received at any point of time – in or after the 10th grade or after the age of 16.

The Johannesburg Archdiocese strictly requires that Confirmation be conferred on a candidate only during the 10th Grade or after the person has reached the age of 16.

Additionally, before marriage one has to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

Q: Who confers the Sacrament of Confirmation?

A: It is generally conferred by the Archbishop but the Parish Priest may confer the sacrament if he receives a valid delegation letter from the Bishop.

Q: When is it conferred?

A: Our parish invites the Bishop to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation every year during the month of October.

Q: What preparation is required for Confirmation?

A: Youth are trained for a year before they may be adjudged fit to receive the Sacrament.

Those candidates failing to attend regular Confirmation classes may have their Confirmation postponed until they have been adequately prepared for the Sacrament.
In order to prepare and support the candidates during their preparation for the Sacrament, Animators are nominated as Godparents or Sponsors; these play an active role in preparing the candidates.

Additionally, the Godparents or Sponsors are required to establish and implement a post Confirmation follow-up program, also supporting and encouraging those they have sponsored during their Faith journey through life.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the above?

A: The Sacrament of Confirmation may be conferred outside of the usual times (provided that it has not already been conferred) under unavoidable or exceptional circumstances, e.g. serious illness, travel abroad, marriage, or danger of death.

After due examination of the circumstances, the Parish Priest may request the Bishop either to confer the Sacrament himself or to delegate the Parish Priest to confer it, via an official delegation letter. The Sacrament is then conferred accordingly.

However, the candidate is expected to know the importance of the Sacrament and be fully prepared according to Catechism of Confirmation. Before applying for this Sacrament to be conferred, the candidate is also required to demonstrate adequate preparation by passing a test.

Q: Whom Do I contact for my Confirmation?

A: Just as for other Sacraments, announcements in connection with confirmation are made in Church and in the Sunday Mass Bulletin. Students passing the 10th Grade or at the age of 16 and attending Sunday School are automatically notified about Confirmation by the Catechist.