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A sacrament in which the Holy Ghost is given to those already baptized in order to make them strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.

It has been variously designated: bebaiosis or confirmatio , a making fast or sure; teleiosis or consummatio , a perfecting or completing, as expressing its relation to baptism.

With reference to its effect it is the "Sacrament of the Holy Ghost", the "Sacrament of the Seal" ( signaculum, sigillum, sphragis ).

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The validity of both the Latin and the Greek form is unquestionable.

Additional details are given below in the historical outline.

Effects Confirmation imparts A further consequence is the spiritual relationship which the person confirming and the sponsor contract with the recipient and with the recipient's parents.

This relationship constitutes a diriment impediment (see IMPEDIMENTS) to marriage.

The Catechism of the Council of Trent says that the sacrament can be administered to all persons after baptism, but that this is not expedient before the use of reason ; and adds that it is most fitting that the sacrament be deferred until the child is seven years old, "for Confirmation has not been instituted as necessary for salvation, but that by virtue thereof we might be found well armed and prepared when called upon to fight for the faith of Christ, and for this kind of conflict no one will consider children, who are still without the use of reason, to be qualified." (Pt. iii, 18.) Such, in fact, is the general usage in the Western Church.

Under certain circumstances, however, as, for instance, danger of death, or when the opportunity of receiving the sacrament is but rarely offered, even younger children may be confirmed.(For the manner of this consecration and for other details, historical and liturgical, see CHRISM.) The difference regarding the form of the sacrament, i.e.the words essential for confirmation, has been indicated above in the description of the rite.The "imposition", however, is not that with which the rite begins but the laying on of hands which takes place in the act of anointing. De Augustinis, "De re sacramentaria", 2d ed., Rome, 1889, I).As Peter the Lombard declares: Pontifex per impositionem manus confirmandos ungit in fronte (IV Sent., dist. The chrism employed must be a mixture of olive oil and balsam consecrated by a bishop.They should also be in the state of grace; for the Holy Ghost is not given for the purpose of taking away sin but of conferring additional grace.

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