Confirmation, in the Catholic Church, is one of the seven sacraments.It is also one of the three sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church, the other two being Baptism and Holy Communion.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost... 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.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church sees the account in the Acts of the Apostles 8:14–17 as a scriptural basis for Confirmation as a sacrament distinct from Baptism:
Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
In the Latin Church, the sacrament is to be conferred on the faithful above the age of discretion (generally taken to be about 7), unless the Episcopal Conference has decided on a different age, or there is danger of death or, in the judgment of the minister, a grave reason suggests otherwise.
The 1983 Code of Canon law states (canon 882): "The ordinary minister of confirmation is a bishop; a presbyter provided with this faculty in virtue of universal law or the special grant of the competent authority also confers this sacrament validly."
Two synods held in England during the thirteenth century differed over whether confirmation had to be administered within one year after birth, or within three years.Confirmation became a much more important rite when concerns about understanding and faith grew, in particular following the Reformation.
After the Fourth Lateran Council, Communion, which continued to be given only after Confirmation, was to be administered only on reaching the age of reason. Some time after the 13th century, the age of Confirmation and Communion began to be delayed further, from seven, to twelve and to fifteen.The 1917 Code of Canon Law, while recommending that Confirmation be delayed until about seven years of age, allowed it be given at an earlier age. Only on 30 June 1932 was official permission given to change the traditional order of the three sacraments of Christian initiation: the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments then allowed, where necessary, that Confirmation be administered after first Holy Communion. This novelty, originally seen as exceptional, became more and more the accepted practice. Thus, in the mid-20th century, Confirmation began to be seen as an occasion for professing personal commitment to the faith on the part of someone approaching adulthood.
However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church , §1308, warns: "Although Confirmation is sometimes called the 'sacrament of Christian maturity,' we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need 'ratification' to become effective."
On the canonical age for confirmation in the Latin or Western Catholic Church, the present (1983) Code of Canon Law, which maintains unaltered the rule in the 1917 Code, specifies that the sacrament is to be conferred on the faithful at about 7-18, unless the episcopal conference has decided on a different age, or there is a danger of death or, in the judgement of the minister, a grave reason suggests otherwise (canon 891 of the Code of Canon Law). The 1983 Code prescribes the age of discretion also for the sacraments of Penanceand first Holy Communion.
Since the Second Vatican Council, the setting of a later age, e.g. mid-teens in the United States, early teens in Ireland and Britain, has been abandoned in some places in favour of restoring the traditional order of the three sacraments of Christian initiation.Even in those countries where the episcopal conference has set a later age as normal, a bishop may not refuse to confer the sacrament on younger children who request it, provided they are baptized, have the use of reason, are suitably instructed and are properly disposed and able to renew the baptismal promises.
The Chrismation with holy Myron is the way confirmation is called in Eastern Catholic Churches. The canons concerning this practice are the can. 692-697 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches . In Eastern Catholicism, priests are those who normally administer the Chrismation with holy Myron, and this sacrament can be administered conjointly with baptism. Contrarily to the situation in the Latin Church, in Eastern Catholicism the sacrament does not require the anointing to be made by the imposition of the hand.
The "soldier of Christ" imagery, which remains validbut is downplayed if seen as part of the once common idea of Confirmation as a "sacrament of maturity", was used as far back as 350, by Cyril of Jerusalem. In this connection, the touch on the cheek that the bishop gave while saying "Pax tecum" (Peace be with you) to the person he had just confirmed was interpreted in the Roman Pontifical as a slap, a reminder to be brave in spreading and defending the faith: "Deinde leviter eum in maxilla caedit, dicens: Pax tecum" (Then he strikes him lightly on the cheek, saying: Peace be with you) (cf. the knightly custom of the accolade). When, in application of the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Confirmation rite was revised in 1971, mention of this gesture was omitted. However, the French and Italian translations, indication that the bishop should accompany the words "Peace be with you" with "a friendly gesture" (French text) or "the sign of peace" (Italian text), explicitly allow a gesture such as the touch on the cheek, to which they restore its original meaning. This is in accord with the Introduction to the Rite of Confirmation, 17, which indicates that the episcopal conference may decide "to introduce a different manner for the minister to give the sign of peace after the anointing, either to each individual or to all the newly confirmed together."
Anointing of the sick, known also by other names such as unction, is a form of religious anointing or "unction" for the benefit of a sick person. It is practiced by many Christian churches and denominations.
Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young children. Infant baptism can be contrasted with what is called "believer's baptism", which is the religious practice of baptising only individuals who personally confess faith in Jesus, therefore excluding underage children. Infant baptism is also called christening by some faith traditions.
Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, as well as in the Assyrian Church of the East initiation rites. The sacrament is more commonly known in the West as Confirmation, although Italian normally use the term cresima ("chrismation") rather than confermazione ("confirmation").
In Christian denominations that practice infant baptism, confirmation is seen as the sealing of the covenant created in baptism. Those being confirmed are known as confirmands. For adults, it is an affirmation of belief.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2019. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church consists of 24 particular churches and almost 3,500 dioceses and eparchies around the world. The pope, who is the bishop of Rome, is the chief pastor of the church. The bishopric of Rome, known as the Holy See, is the central governing authority of the church. The administrative body of the Holy See, the Roman Curia, has its principal offices in Vatican City, a small enclave of Rome, of which the pope is head of state.
First Communion is a ceremony in some Christian traditions during which a person first receives the Eucharist. It is most common in many parts of the Latin Church tradition of the Catholic Church, Lutheran Church and Anglican Communion. In churches that celebrate a rite of First Communion separate from baptism or confirmation, it typically occurs between the ages of seven and thirteen, often acting as a rite of passage. In other denominations first communion ordinarily follows the reception of confirmation, which occurs at some point in adolescence or adulthood, while Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Christians first receive the sacrament of Holy Communion in infancy, along with Holy Baptism and Chrismation.
Infant communion, also known as paedocommunion, refers to the practice of giving the Eucharist, often in the form of consecrated wine mingled with consecrated bread, to young children. This practice is standard throughout Eastern Christianity, where communion is given at the Divine Liturgy to all baptized and chrismated church members regardless of age. Infant communion is less common in most of Western Christianity.
Sacred mysteries are the areas of supernatural phenomena associated with a divinity or a religious belief and praxis. Sacred mysteries may be either:
Validity and liceity are concepts in the Catholic Church. Validity designates an action which produces the effects intended; an action which does not produces the effects intended is considered "invalid". Liceity designates an action which has been performed legitimately; an action which has not been performed legitimately is considered "illicit". Some actions can be illicit, but still be valid.
Catholicity is a concept pertaining to beliefs and practices widely accepted across numerous Christian denominations, most notably those that describe themselves as catholic in accordance with the Four Marks of the Church, as expressed in the Nicene Creed of the First Council of Constantinople in 381: "[I believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church."
Conversion to Christianity is the religious conversion of a previously non-Christian person to Christianity. Different Christian denominations may perform various different kinds of rituals or ceremonies initiation into their community of believers. The most commonly accepted ritual of conversion in Christianity is through baptism, but this is not universally accepted among them all. A period of instruction and study almost always ensues before a person is formally converted into Christianity and becomes a church member, but the length of this period varies, sometimes as short as a few weeks and possibly less, and other times, up to as long as a year or possibly more.
The sacrament of holy orders in the Catholic Church includes three orders: bishops, priests, and deacons, in decreasing order of rank, collectively comprising the clergy. In the phrase "holy orders", the word "holy" means "set apart for a sacred purpose". The word "order" designates an established civil body or corporation with a hierarchy, and ordination means legal incorporation into an order. In context, therefore, a group with a hierarchical structure that is set apart for ministry in the Church.
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of holy orders and is responsible for teaching doctrine, governing Catholics in his jurisdiction, sanctifying the world and representing the Church. Catholics trace the origins of the office of bishop to the apostles, who it is believed were endowed with a special charism by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Catholics believe this special charism has been transmitted through an unbroken succession of bishops by the laying on of hands in the sacrament of holy orders.
In the Catholic Church, the Anointing of the sick, also known as Extreme Unction, is a Catholic sacrament that is administered to a Catholic "who, having reached the age of reason, begins to be in danger due to sickness or old age", except in the case of those who "persevere obstinately in manifest grave sin". Proximate danger of death, the occasion for the administration of Viaticum, is not required, but only the onset of a medical condition of serious illness or injury or simply old age: "It is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived."
This is a glossary of terms used within the Catholic Church.
There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition.
A sacrament is a Christian rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments to be a visible symbol of the reality of God, as well as a channel for God's grace. Many denominations, including the Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, and Reformed, hold to the definition of sacrament formulated by Augustine of Hippo: an outward sign of an inward grace, that has been instituted by Jesus Christ. Sacraments signify God's grace in a way that is outwardly observable to the participant.
In the canon law of the Catholic Church, a person is a subject of certain legal rights and obligations. Persons may be distinguished between physical and juridic persons. Juridic persons may be distinguished as collegial or non-collegial, and public or private juridic persons. The Holy See and the Catholic Church as such are not juridic persons, since juridic persons are created by ecclesiastical law. Rather, they are moral persons by divine law.
Canon 844 is a canon contained within the 1983 Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church, which defines the licit administration and reception of certain sacraments of the Catholic Church in normative and in particular exceptional circumstances, known in Catholic canonical theory as communicatio in sacris.
A conditional sacrament or sacramentsub conditione is in some Christian denominations a sacrament administered "on the condition that the faithful [receiving it is] able and legitimately entitled to receive the sacrament". An example of conditional sacrament is conditional baptism.
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