Confirmation

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the sacraments of Christian initiation" (CCC 1285). The purpose of Confirmation is to complete a Christian's baptism by celebrating the Christ's gift of the Holy Spirit to the new members of his mystical body – the Church. Ultimately, initiation into Christ's body is completed by the sacrament of the Eucharist, for by it we become one body, one spirit, in Christ.

At what age does one receive Confirmation?

The universal requirement regarding age is that the baptized person has reached the age of reason (as is the case for first Holy Communion) which is near seven years of age. However, it within the power of the local bishop to decide on the particular practice within the diocese that he shepherds.

In the archdiocese of Ottawa, the current practice is for young Catholics to receive Confirmation in the sixth grade. However, because the former practice was to confirm children in the second grade in the same liturgy in which they received first Holy Communion, we are currently in a period of transition. In this period of transition, we welcome any baptized Catholic aged 11 or higher who, for any reason, has not yet received the sacrament of Confirmation to register with the Parish Office. The parish will offer formation appropriate to the individual situation.

Who Confirms?

In every sacrament, it is Christ who acts. Thus, it is Christ who confirms and gives the Holy Spirit to the one receiving the sacrament. However, Christ acts through various ministers, and in the case of Confirmation that minister is the bishop. In some cases, the bishop may mandate a priest to confirm.

Where does Confirmation take place?

Confirmation takes place in the church during the Easter season.

Do I have to be a registered parishioner to be confirmed or to have my child confirmed?

Because it is the responsibility of each parish to prepare candidates for Confirmation and to register them with the archdiocese, it is necessary for you to register for Confirmation with the parish in whose boundary you reside or with which you are registered. However, if you think that there is a sufficient reason for you to register with us and participate in our preparation process, we ask that you contact our Parish Office.

How should a Confirmation sponsor be selected?

The requirements of a sponsor for Confirmation are the same as those for a Godparent: a fully initiated Catholic (baptized, confirmed, and has received first Holy Communion), at least 16 years of age, living a life of faith, and neither the father nor mother of the one being confirmed.

Because of its intrinsic link to Baptism, the Church recommends, and we highly encourage, that the Confirmation sponsor be one of the Godparents of the one being confirmed.

What is the preparation process for Confirmation at St. John the Apostle?

At St. John the Apostle, the immediate preparation of candidates for Confirmation focuses on Confirmation as the completion of their Baptism and looking to their ongoing participation in the Eucharist as the basis of their lives as Christians. Particularly, the candidates experience, through symbol and ritual, the numerous elements of the baptismal liturgy and are lead, through discussion and catechesis, to a 'remembrance' of their baptismal call to a life of holiness. This life is nourished by the Eucharist, and empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Hopefully, the celebration of confirmation will only be the beginning of a lifelong appreciation of the meaning of a life lived in the presence of God's Spirit.

However a more extensive period of preparation prior to the immediate preparation outlined above may be required in cases where the candidate has not had the privilege of Catholic catechesis.

How frequently is Confirmation celebrated?

Confirmation will be celebrated once a year on or around the feast of Pentecost.

How does one register for Confirmation?

Call or email the Parish Office.