What Are Some Symbols and Rituals in Confirmation?

Some symbols and rituals in Confirmation are the laying on of hands, the anointing with oil, the sign of peace and the white garment. During the Confirmation, the bishop or priest performing the rite recites the words “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

During the Rite of Confirmation, individuals receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by the bishop or priest. The bishop stretches out his hand over the children and calls down the power of the Holy Spirit to overshadow the people being confirmed.

Another ritual is where the bishop anoints each candidate on the forehead with Chrism, which is an oil made from olives and scented with balsam that is then blessed by the bishop.

Making the sign of peace is a symbol of unity and signifies that the believers are one people under God and one body of Christ. When the priest says, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit,” it represents a contract signed and sealed with the Holy Spirit. A person must be sealed with the Holy Spirit in order to be confirmed with as a Christian.

Those being confirmed often wear white garments as a symbol of their purity.

Many of these symbolic gestures are also part of other Catholic rituals, such as the consecration of the bread and wine at mass, the anointing of the sick and the ordination of priests.