Confirmation is regarded as the perfection of Baptism, because, as the introduction to the Rite of Confirmation states:
By the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
Many people think of the laying on of hands, which signifies the descent of the Holy Spirit, as the central act in the Sacrament of Confirmation. The essential element, however, is the anointing of the confirmand (the person being confirmed) with chrism (an aromatic oil that has been consecrated by a bishop), accompanied by the words "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit" (or, in the Eastern Catholic Churches, "The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit"). This seal is a consecration, representing the safeguarding by the Holy Spirit of the graces conferred on the Christian at Baptism.
There are five effects of Confirmation:
it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation [as sons of God] which makes us cry, "Abba! Father!";
it unites us more firmly to Christ;
it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.
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