Why Do People Get Confirmed?

People are confirmed to complete the process that the Catholic Church terms “baptismal grace.” The three steps in the process are baptism, Eucharist or first communion, and finally confirmation, which form the sacrament of initiation.

The act of being confirmed means the Catholic Church recognizes the individual as officially initiated into the church. According to the church, once a person is confirmed he has been given the power to profess faith in Christ publicly and, as it were, officially.

The process of confirmation requires the candidate to profess his faith, to be sponsored by a member of the Catholic Church, and to be educated in the Catholic Church and the teachings of Jesus Christ. The majority of American dioceses confirm anyone baptized once he has reached middle-school age, however in 2011, some dioceses began confirming children as young as eight years old. In Eastern Orthodox Churches, babies receive baptism, first communion and confirmation all at the same time, although Western churches ended this practice in the 4th century.

Confirmation is usually administered by a bishop, however, the bishop can grant priests the authority to confirm. Christians who are in danger of dying and have not been confirmed may also be granted confirmation.