The discourse between Jesus and his disciples leading to His promise of the holy Spirit begins in John chapter 14:6-9 at St. Francis’ Admonition 1a and continues through to 15:15.
The ensuing event that occurred at the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, (the descent of the Holy Spirit in Tongues of Fire upon the heads of the 11 Apostles and those with them) – is called the Birthday of the Church by many of us today and retrospectively inspired the Rite or Sacrament of Confirmation.
- A Sacrament birthed by the promise of another Comforter who was sent by the Father
- Signifying the coming of age of a Christian – when those who are so confirmed testify to the Promises made by their parents and God-Parents, on their behalf at their baptism.
- Most of the time in those denominations believing and practicing Confirmation this is done as a matter of course irrespective of the maturity or involvement of the Candidate in their Faith. My sons went through the process, one in a Parochial School and the other in a State run School(at the hand of the Catechist)
- Who can administer – Bishops and those to whom they give permission.
Then, as with Eucharist, for those on the outside they pay ransom to a system in which they believe has the right to confer Sacrament upon those whom it alone chooses.
Yet, what is the Confirmation? The manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit by the Fruits in one’s life or the ritual that symbolizes it?
Recall that Joel prophesied that the Spirit would be poured out on all people,1. the significance is, is that until this time the Holy Spirit was reserved for Prophets, Priests and Kings and not for ordinary people – now at the day of Pentecost the Spirit is poured out on Apostles who are none of the above.
Paul came across some Ephesians who had been baptized only with the baptism of John but once baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus they received the Holy Spirit Acts 19:1-7 NRSV “When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied”(19:6) Initially the Holy Spirit manifested herself in obvious ways so that there was no doubt when someone received her.
Receiving the Holy Spirit, therefore, follows on from believers baptism, or from Conversion, if baptism has already taken place. Though we receive the seal of the Spirit at Baptism we do not receive her outpouring until we can testify to ‘Metanoia2.’ to changing our heart and mind, turning away from sin to follow the Gospel.
We recognize it within ourselves when we perceive any of the following: and others see the results in the right hand column.
We do not need the church to Confirm our Beliefs but it might be nice if they would do so for everyone.
- 1.Joel 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.. 2015. Joel 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.. [ONLINE] Available at: http://biblehub.com/joel/2-28.htm. [Accessed 01 November 2015].
- 2. Strong’s Greek: 3341. μετάνοια (metanoia) — change of mind, repentance. 2015. Strong’s Greek: 3341. μετάνοια (metanoia) — change of mind, repentance. [ONLINE] Available at: http://biblehub.com/greek/3341.htm. [Accessed 01 November 2015].