In the Archdiocese of Washington, young people are invited to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation while in 8th grade. Any youth who wishes to receive this sacrament is asked to register for classes through the Religious Education program or through our parish school, St. John’s School. Candidates for the sacrament are expected to participate in both the 7th and 8th grade religious education programs. Candidates need to be baptized and willing to follow the guidelines our parish requires.
For youth whose families have moved from a diocese where the Confirmation age is different, we are happy to make alternate arrangements. Please contact the parish office at (301) 373-2281 to speak to the DRE for more information.
Older youth and adults who seek Confirmation are encouraged to make an appointment with the pastor to come up with a plan to prepare for the sacrament. The pastor may recommend individual or small group instruction depending on the person's schedule and needs.
ABOUT THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
- Jesus instituted this sacrament when he said, "[T]he Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you." (Jn 14:26)
- Confirmation is ordinarily celebrated by a bishop; however, in special circumstances, he can delegate this responsibility to a priest.
- It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation. It is often said to "complete" the work begun in baptism.
- Its main purpose is to equip the confirmand (the person receiving the sacrament) with the tools necessary to live a Christian life and be a doer of God's Word, not merely a receiver: for "every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock. And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof." (Mt 7: 24-27)
The "tools" needed for Christian life are the gifts of the Holy Spirit referenced in Isaiah 11: 2-3. They are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel (or right judgment), fortitude (or courage), piety (or reverence), and fear of the Lord.
- The matter of the sacrament is blessed oil and the laying on of hands; the form is the words, "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit."
- Most confirmands choose a new name, usually the name of a saint or a particular virtue (prudence, chastity, etc.), to symbolize that they have entered into a new phase of their life.
"Why do I need to be confirmed if I've already been baptized?"
See the answer in this video
from Busted Halo (bustedhalo.com)
"How do I choose a Confirmation name?"
Try doing some research on saints here or here, or use one of the many books about saints in our Lending Library.
"What if I have more questions?"
Check out these resources
from the USCCB and Catholic Answers