Confirmation Homily

Confirmation Homily

Bishop Philip writes…

In the Rite of Confirmation, the Bishop is directed to give a brief homily, by which, shedding light on the readings, he leads, as if by hand, those to be confirmed, their sponsors and parents, and the whole gathering of the faithful to a deeper understanding of the mystery of Confirmation. These are the words it is proposed he might say:

The Apostles, who had received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in fulfilment of the Lord’s promise, had power to complete the work of Baptism by the giving of the Holy Spirit, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles. When Saint Paul had laid his hands on certain people who had been baptized, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. The Bishops, as successors of the Apostles, possess the same power and, either in their own right or through Priests lawfully appointed to fulfil this ministry, they confer the Holy Spirit on those who have already been born again in Baptism. Even if today the coming of the Holy Spirit is no longer widely made manifest by the gift of tongues, we know by faith that the Spirit, through whom the love of God has been poured into our hearts and through whom we are gathered in unity of faith and in diversity of callings, is received by us and is working invisibly to make the Church holy and one.

Dearly beloved, the gift of the Holy Spirit, which you are about to receive, will be a spiritual seal, by which you will be conformed to Christ and will be made more fully members of this Church. For Christ himself, anointed by the Holy Spirit in the baptism he received from John, was sent forth for the work of his ministry, to pour out on the earth the fire of the same Spirit.

Therefore, you who are already baptized will now receive the power of his Spirit and be signed with his Cross on your foreheads. And so, you must always bear witness to his Passion and Resurrection before the world, so that your manner of life, as the Apostle says, may be in every place the pleasing fragrance of Christ. His Mystical Body, which is the Church, the People of God, receives from him diverse graces, which the same Holy Spirit distributes to individuals for the building up of that Body in unity and love. Be living members of this Church, therefore, and, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, seek to serve all people like Christ, who came not to be served but to serve.

And now, before you receive the Spirit, call to mind the faith which you professed in Baptism or which your parents and godparents professed with the Church.