Chapter 2: Confirmation - Midwest Theological Forum

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Chapter 2: Confirmation
THE SACRAMENTS – Source of our Life in Christ
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
Anticipatory Set
 1 Samuel 16:1-13
 God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be
king of Israel after God rejected Saul, who was Israel’s first king.
 Examine the illustration, “The Tree of Jesse” (p. 53), on the
connection between Jesse and Jesus Christ.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
BASIC QUESTIONS
 What is Confirmation?
 How is the idea of anointed present in the Old Testament, in the Gospels, and in the life of
the Christian today?
 When do we first see the Sacrament of Confirmation?
KEY IDEAS
 Confirmation completes Baptism, giving the faithful the Gifts of the Holy Spirit so they will
have the courage to boldly proclaim and live the Catholic Faith.
 In the Old Testament, certain individuals were anointed on God’s command as priests,
prophets, and kings. Anointed, Messiah, and Christ are synonymous terms. Jesus Christ is the
promised Messiah of the Old Testament who was anointed by the Holy Spirit and who, in
turn, shares the gift of the Holy Sprit with his followers, a messianic people.
 Confirmation is first recorded in Acts of the Apostles when Sts. Peter and John were to lay
hands on the followers of Christ in Samaria who had only been baptized but had not
received the Holy Spirit.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
What motivated the Apostles to begin carrying out the mission that
Christ had given them?
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Why is Baptism an initiation?
It is the beginning of the Christian journey.
What are the goals of the Christian journey, and where are they
realized?
Holiness and perfection are goals that can only be realized in eternal life.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
In the Old Testament, what is the relationship between the words
anointed, christ, and messiah?
They all mean the same thing.
What did it mean in the Old Testament to be called anointed?
It meant being chosen by God to be a king, priest, or prophet.
What special Messiah did the prophets foretell?
The profits foretold that a descendent of David would receive the Spirit
of the Lord.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
What are the gifts of the Spirit that the Messiah would receive?
Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge, and Fear of the
Lord.
When do we see this prophecy fulfilled?
We see this at the baptism of Christ, when the Holy Spirit rested upon
him.
Who else was to receive this outpouring of the Holy Spirit?
All of God’s people, beginning with the Apostles.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
Guided Exercise
Think/Pair/Share on the following question:
What does it mean to say that Christians are a messianic people?
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
As illustrated by Maino in “Pentecost” (p. 54), who was with the
Apostles when the Holy Spirit descended upon them?
Mary, the mother of Jesus.
How are the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation linked from
the very beginning?
St. Peter told the Jews, to whom he preached in Jerusalem, that they
should repent and be baptized, and they would “receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit.”
What was the effect of the Apostles’ preaching on the day of
Pentecost?
Some three thousand were baptized and confirmed that day.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
Guided Exercise
Discuss the Biblical use of metaphorical speech to describe the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit:
 A sound like the rush of a mighty wind.
 Tongues as of fire.
 Why do you suppose St. Luke used similes to describe the giving of the Holy Spirit.
Discuss reasons St. Luke (and God) used the images of wind and fire to describe
the Holy Spirit.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
How do we know from the Acts of the Apostles that Baptism and
Confirmation are separate Sacraments?
The Apostles learned that missionaries had baptized converts in Samaria
but that the converts had not received the Holy Spirit. Sts. Peter and John
laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Why is Confirmation called the Sacrament of Fullness?
It indicates that the Christian has reached the fullness of the graces of
Baptism and has received the imprint or seal of the Holy Spirit.
Why are Baptism and Confirmation called the double Sacrament?
They are closely related.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
When is Confirmation administered today?
In the Eastern Rites, it is celebrated immediately after Baptism, even with
infants. In the Latin Rite, Confirmation is celebrated after the age of
reason. When adults convert in the Latin Rite, they receive Baptism,
Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
In the Latin Rite, why is the Sacrament of Confirmation
administered by a bishop?
This emphasizes the newly confirmed’s unity with the bishop and the
entire Church.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
Guided Exercise
Complete the following table to organize some of the names of
Confirmation.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
Closure
Write a paragraph on Confirmation using the definition in the
glossary of this chapter as your basis (p. 69).
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
Homework Assignment
Reading:
 Pp. 56-60.
Questions:
 Questions: 1-12.
 Workbook: 1-15.
 Practical Exercise 1.
1. Confirmation is the Sacrament of
the Holy Spirit (pp. 52-55)
Alternative Assessment
Free write on the connection between Old Testament anointings,
Christ’s baptism at the Jordan, and the Sacrament of Confirmation,
which was initiated at Pentecost.
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
Anticipatory Set
The gifts of the Holy Spirit and their opposites.
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
BASIC QUESTION
 What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
KEY IDEAS
 Wisdom is tasting or intimately experiencing the mind and nature of God.
 Understanding is the ability to understand divine mysteries, such as the nature of
God and divine truths.
 Counsel is being instructed by the Holy Spirit as to what actions to take so they are
morally right.
 Fortitude is courage to defend and live the demands of our Christian life in a hostile
environment.
 Knowledge is a supernatural understanding that all creation, our good actions, and all
the good that has been achieved in history comes from God and is directed toward
him.
 Piety is seeing God as our Father and our neighbor as brother and sister.
 Fear of God is fear of separating oneself from God out of love for God and
dread of his justice.
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
What were some of the spectacular manifestations of the
Sacrament of Confirmation in the early Church?
People spoke languages they had never learned and were healed, and there
were thousands of conversions.
How does the Holy Spirit adapt himself to the needs of various
times and individuals?
The Holy Spirit gives individuals the gifts they need and these vary from
time to time and individual to individual.
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
What is the relationship between Confirmation and the Cross?
The gifts the Holy Spirit gives us in Confirmation help us to embrace and
love the struggles we experience in life.
Is Confirmation necessary for salvation?
Confirmation is not necessary for salvation, but we are obliged to receive
it because of the great help it gives us in living as followers of Christ.
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
Guided Exercise
Do a paragraph shrink on the paragraph on page 57 beginning, “St.
Thomas Aquinas.”
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
Guided Exercise
Complete the following tables to better understand the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
Closure
Write a paragraph summarizing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
with an example of each.
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
Homework Assignment
Reading:
 Pp. 61-63.
Questions:
 Questions: 32-46.
 Workbook: 16-32.
 Practical Exercises: 2-5.
2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (pp. 56-60)
Alternative Assessment
Work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 4, identifying one
Church teaching that many non-Catholics disagree with today, and a
concrete situation in which one would need the graces of
Confirmation to defend the teaching.
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
Anticipatory Set
Write a paragraph about the significance of Confirmation in the lives of
Catholics, thinking about what a person might do to better prepare him or
herself to receive this Sacrament.
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
BASIC QUESTIONS
 What are the matter, form, and minister of Confirmation?
 Why does the confirmand have a sponsor and take on a new name?
KEY IDEAS
 The matter of Confirmation is Sacred Chrism. The form is the words,
“Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” as the minister traces the
Sign of the Cross on the forehead of the confirmand with chrism. The
ordinary minister in the Latin Rite is the bishop.
 The confirmand takes the name of a saint to represent his or her new
responsibility and is aided in living his or her Christian responsibilities
by a sponsor.
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
Describe the basic elements of the celebration of Confirmation?
A bishop lays his hands on the recipient and prays that God will send the
Holy Spirit upon him or her.
What is the matter of Confirmation?
A blessed oil, called Sacred Chrism.
What is the form of Confirmation?
The words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit,” as the bishop
anoints the candidate with Sacred Chrism on the forehead.
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
Who is the ordinary minister of Confirmation in the Latin Rite?
The bishop.
Who is the extraordinary minister of Confirmation in the Latin
Rite?
Priests are delegated to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation under
certain circumstances, for example, when adults are admitted into the
Church at the Easter Vigil.
How do the Eastern Rites maintain unity with the bishop in
administering Confirmation?
The Sacred Chrism that the priest uses was consecrated by his bishop.
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
Guided Exercise
Do a focused reading of the paragraph beginning, “The minister of the
Sacrament” (p. 61), using the following question:
 How is Confirmation, administered by the local bishop, a sign of unity and
apostolicity?
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
Why is it appropriate that the confirmand’s sponsor be one of his
godparents?
The Confirmation sponsor fulfills the same role as the Baptismal
sponsor.
Why does the Confirmation ceremony in the Latin Rite include the
renewal of Baptismal promises and the Profession of Faith?
In the case of Infant Baptism, the Baptismal promises and the
Profession of Faith were made in the child’s name by the parents and
godparents. Now he or she can renew these promises and make the
Profession of Faith on his or her own.
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
Guided Exercise
Go on-line to read the beginning of the article on Confirmation in the
1908 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia to see similarities and
differences in the administration of the Sacrament then and now.
See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04215b.htm.
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
Closure
Write a paragraph explaining how the present mode of celebrating the
Sacrament of Confirmation can be directly connected to the Sacrament
as demonstrated in the Acts of the Apostles.
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
Homework Assignment
Reading:
 Pp. 63-66.
Questions:
 Questions: 18-31.
 Workbook: 33-50.
3. The Administration of
Confirmation (pp. 61-63)
Alternative Assessment
Choose a possible Confirmation name—based on a saint you really
admire—and explain why you chose this name.
 If you have already received the Sacrament of Confirmation, write
down the name you chose and explain why you chose this name.
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
Anticipatory Set
Do a paragraph shrink on the paragraph beginning, “When Sacred
Scripture” (p.63).
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
BASIC QUESTIONS
 How are Christians kings, priests, and prophets?
 How do we prepare for Confirmation?
 What is apostolate?
KEY IDEAS
 We are called to participate in Christ’s role as king, priest, and prophet.
 We are called to prepare for Confirmation through a period of study
and discernment so as to respond fully to the graces we will receive.
 To live out our Confirmation graces, we are called to do apostolate,
that is, to spread the Faith through word and example.
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
In what three specific roles or offices of Christ are we called to participate
in by reason of our anointing in Confirmation?
The kingly, priestly, and prophetic offices of Christ.
How do we carry out our kingly vocation?
We use the gifts we have been given to cooperate in the mission of the Church.
How do we come to understand our role or vocation in the life of the
Church?
Through prayer and discernment.
What is the ministerial priesthood?
Those men who receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders and are ordained to
celebrate the Sacraments.
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
What is the primary sacrifice celebrated by the ministerial
priesthood?
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
What sacrifice is offered by every Christian in the exercise of their
priestly mission in the Church?
Each person is called to take every aspect of his or her life (prayer, work,
family life, relationships, hobbies, relaxation, and even struggles,
temptations, and sufferings) and to unite these to the sacrifice of Christ
on the Cross.
When is the best time to make these offerings?
There are two: one is when they occur, and the other is at Mass.
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
How do lay persons carry out a prophetic role in the Church?
Every Christian is called to make Christ known through word and deed.
What are the minimum requirements for receiving the Sacrament
of Confirmation?
One must be baptized, have reached the age of reason (usually about
seven years old), and have the intention to receive the Sacrament.
What is the effect of receiving Confirmation in a state of mortal
sin?
The person would receive an indelible mark or seal on the soul, but would
not receive the graces of the Sacrament and would be guilty of a sacrilege.
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
How would one repair the problem of having received Confirmation in a
state of mortal sin?
Make a good confession, mentioning the improper reception of Confirmation.
What is the usual age of Confirmation in the United States?
It is usually received during the high school years.
Why is it deferred until high school?
The Sacrament is deferred to indicate that the confirmand is ready to accept his
or her role as a mature Christian.
What are two excellent ways to prepare for Confirmation in addition to
parish preparation programs?
Confession and personal prayer.
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
Guided Exercise
Work with a partner to come up with one concrete example each of how
a teenager could participate in the kingly, priestly, and prophetic mission
of God.
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
Guided Exercise
Work with a partner to define the term apostolate as used in the section
“LIVING OUT THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION” (p. 65).
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
Closure
Write a paragraph summarizing how those confirmed are called to
participate in the kingly, priestly, and prophetic mission of God.
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
Homework Assignment
Reading:
 Pp. 67-68.
Questions:
 Questions: 13-17.
 Workbook: 51-57.
 Practical Exercise 6.
4. Prophet, Priest, and King in
Confirmation (pp. 63-66)
Alternative Assessment
Free write on how a true conviction of one’s divine filiation, i.e.,
seeing God the Father as “Abba” (Father) would aid one in practicing
the apostolate.
THE END

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