3 Things Most People Get Wrong About the Sacrament of Confirmation

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JakobLazarus, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Is Confirmation the most misunderstood Sacrament? Here are three of the most common misconceptions:

Myth 1: The recipient is confirming, as an adult, the faith they received as a child

Actually, it’s precisely the opposite: rather than the sacrament being about the recipient confirming something, it’s about God confirming the recipient, completing baptismal grace and strengthening them with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, Confirmation is not something we do for God, but something God does to us.

Myth 2: Only adults can receive Confirmation

Confirmation can actually be given to infants, as is the practice is in the East, usually immediately after Baptism. It’s been a long-standing practice in the West to only give the sacrament to those who have attained the age of reason, but that is not an absolute requirement for the Sacrament. (CCC 1290-1292)

This makes the problem with the first myth more apparent.

Myth 3: Confirmation is a capstone to one’s faith

In fact, the Confirmation ceremony is a commissioning: once confirmed and strengthened with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the recipient is “more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith, both by word and by deed, as true witnesses of Christ.” (LG 11)

So, far from “being done” with their faith, confirmed Catholics are supposed to be out there boldly preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Wouldn’t it be great if that we lived out?

Would you add anything to this list? Let us know in the comments!

[See also: The Lost Meaning of the Sacrament of Confirmation]

[See also: 5 Things Every Christian Needs to Know About the Holy Spirit]