Confirmation is the sacrament that completes Christian initiation. It is that rite that confirms and strengthens baptismal grace. The ordinary minister of the sacrament is the bishop, who anoints the forehead with sacred chrism (a mixture of olive oil and balm, which he has blessed) as he says, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” Through this sacrament, baptized Catholics receive a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, binding them to Christ and strengthening them for Christian witness.
In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, candidates for confirmation are typically in the 8th grade, sometimes in 9th grade. Preparation for reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation aims as leading the candidate toward a more intimate union with Christ and more lived familiarity with the Holy Spirit. A minimum of at least two years of catechetical instruction is required so it is important for parents to insure that their children are enrolled in a Catholic school, the parish program of religious education or are being properly homeschooled in religion. There are also more immediate requirements for the preparation of this Sacrament including a deeper experience of prayer and a lived faith expression through service and active involvement in the Church. Readiness for the sacrament is always determined by the pastor.