Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti – Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit!
On Thursday, 22 April 2021, Our Lady of the Lake was truly Blessed with welcoming 27 young men of women being Confirmed into full completion of their Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.
Their Christian Foundation was Sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit as Bishop W. Shawn McKnight, as a successor of the Apostles, anointed each of the Confirmands with perfumed chrism oil and in laying his hands on the Confirmands.
The laying on of hands has always been part of the Rite of Confirmation. This rite calls down the Holy Spirit. This gesture, imposed by the early church imposed, evokes, and represents the apostolic laying on of hands. The church teaches that through the laying of hands by the Bishop, called epiclesis, a Greek word that means invocation, asks that the Holy Spirit transform the person into a new reality.
When Confirmed, each one of us is sealed with the Holy Spirit. That seal becomes an indelible mark, a permanent seal that cannot be repeated. Like baptism, confirmation is not repeated. Pope Paul VI affirmed that laying on of hands in the sacrament of confirmation continues the grace of Pentecost that we will celebrate on Sunday, 23 May 2021. The gesture, the laying of hands, evokes the same meanings that it did in the Bible: sign of power, installation of office, ministry, transfer of authority, healing, and blessing. It is a symbol of the ongoing life of the Holy Spirit in our Church. The action of laying on of hands calls down the Spirit of God to bless, sanctify, transform, and give grace to all confirmed.
With being confirmed, we are now a defender of the faith where we must become more aware of the foundation of our Faith – Holy Scripture and Holy Traditions. We must truly listen to the words of the Nicean Creed that we recite at Mass – I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and Earth. And in Jesus Christ His only Son. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins, the Resurrection of the Body, and Life Everlasting!
This is our Faith where we will be questioned and tested!
Confirmation is not the end but only the beginning of our spiritual journey! With Confirmation, we have the strength of the Holy Spirit to be our helper and our guide. To give us all the spirit of wisdom and understanding; the spirit of right judgement and courage; the spirit of knowledge and reverence. To fill us with the spirit of wonder and awe in the presence of God our Father and his son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
We are all truly blessed that our Confirmands have chosen to be confirmed and through the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to continue the mission with spreading, evangelizing, and defending our Faith!
We are all enormously proud of our Confirmands and look forward to providing any assistance and support in their Spiritual Journey! Blessings – Dcn Jim