Communion and Confirmation

Not open for further replies.


Why do Catholics seperate Confirmation from Baptism given that it’s necessary to “recieve the holy Spirit” anyways? I guess kind of like the Orthodox who do this at Baptism too.

Also, what is the basis of waiting until the age of Reason for Holy Communion? Is it to fully understand the real presence? Because, truth is, Most Catholics don’t understand this at that age, at least I never really did, I just believed it was Jesus because i was taught to.

Just food for thought. I am really “getting into” Catholicism now even though I’ve been Catholic all my life. My born-again Christian girlfriend has really inspired me, and I want to be able to aptly teach my kids some day. Thanks.
Confirmation is that which is stated. In Jewish law, the teenager (13 - 14 year old) participates in his/her Bar Mitzvah or making a commitment to God. Following that, the Catholic Church has determined that Confirmation will do that also. Confirmation calls for the Holy Spirit to interceed and that when confirmed, you are accepting your new role as a Soldier for Christ to evangelize to the world your Catholic faith using the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. You can’t really do that at Baptism (2 - 6 months old). Baptism is the cleansing of the soul of Original sin given to us by God because of Adam and Eve. All together different from Confirmation. And 7 years old is the age of reason to truly understand right from wrong so that a good confession can be made, cleansing your soul by forgiveness of all sin to enable you to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist at Mass.
The Eastern Catholic Church subscribes to the philosophy that all of its members, once initiated into the Church, are immediately entitled to the fullness of the Mysteries (“Sacraments” in the Western Church) that are available to them. For this reason, Eastern Catholic infants are baptised, confirmed and receive their First Communion at the same time.

I became a member of the Byzantine Catholic Church many years ago, when it was still “in vogue” for Eastern Catholics to act “more Latin.” I was baptized and confirmed (“chrismated,” as it is referred to in the East) at the same time, as an infant, but did not make my First Communion until I was eight years old. Today, the common practice is for an infant to recieve all three Mysteries of Initiation at the same time.

This has been known to pose a problem for Eastern Catholics who happen to visit a Roman Catholic Church expecting their infants and toddlers to be welcome recipients in the Communion line. Understandably, most Roman Catholic EMHCs (and even a lot of RC priests!) are unaware of this Eastern practice, *although it is fully in conformance with the Holy See, *and tend to ignore the little ones’ presence or even out-and-out refuse them the Eucharist. The obvious solution for Eastern Catholics in this position is to *call the RC Church ahead of time and let them know you’ll be there! *
a pilgrim

A Pilgrim is correct in what he explains regarding the eastern church and the sacraments of initiation. It might be interesting for you to do some research on the early centuries of the church. Also, if you study the RCIA, you will also find the explanation of the fullness of initiation into the church—baptism, chrismation(confirmation) and Eucharist.

Chrismation has absolutely to do nothing theologically with Jewish Bar Mitzvah. Sometimes I think Catholics believe Christianity is just Judaism rehashed. Historically, the bishop baptized/chrismated and, (a brief explanation) as the church grew and spread with churches in local towns, but one bishop in a region, the eastern church allowed both baptism and chrismation to be performed by the local priest because they are interconnected parts (sacraments) of the whole sacrament of initiation. The Eucharist should never be separated from or denied full members according to eastern theology so first Eucharist completed baptism/chrismation at the same time.

In the west, because the bishop is seen as a sign of unity, they eventually allowed local priests to baptize but reserved chrismation (confirmation) for the bishop when he visited as a sign of unity. Eventually paedo-communion was also denied to the young infants/children—When confirmation was pushed to older ages the relating it to Bar Mitzvah became one explanation. Eventually the sequence actually got out of order in the sacraments with Eucharist being received before Confirmation which is the corresponding sacrament to baptism. After Vat. II the more ancient teachings have slowly been filtering into the church-------it is my personal opinion that the sooner the western church returns to the apostolic practice of the eastern church and Orthodoxy, the sooner one more step toward unity can be taken. At this time in the history of the church, imho, there seems no valid reason not to take that step.
Confirmation is that which is stated. In Jewish law, the teenager (13 - 14 year old) participates in his/her Bar Mitzvah or making a commitment to God. Following that, the Catholic Church has determined that Confirmation will do that also.
Um, no.

It is not any kind of “rite of passage”. The Catechism gives the history and reason for the temporal separation in the west:
1290 In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a “double sacrament,” according to the expression of St. Cyprian. Among other reasons, the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. the East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But he can do so only with the “myron” consecrated by a bishop.
1291 A custom of the Roman Church facilitated the development of the Western practice: a double anointing with sacred chrism after Baptism. the first anointing of the neophyte on coming out of the baptismal bath was performed by the priest; it was completed by a second anointing on the forehead of the newly baptized by the bishop. The first anointing with sacred chrism, by the priest, has remained attached to the baptismal rite; it signifies the participation of the one baptized in the prophetic, priestly, and kingly offices of Christ. If Baptism is conferred on an adult, there is only one post-baptismal anointing, that of Confirmation.
1292 The practice of the Eastern Churches gives greater emphasis to the unity of Christian initiation. That of the Latin Church more clearly expresses the communion of the new Christian with the bishop as guarantor and servant of the unity, catholicity and apostolicity of his Church, and hence the connection with the apostolic origins of Christ’s Church.
Not open for further replies.