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206 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated

When Confirmation is celebrated separately from Baptism, its

connection with Baptism is expressed, among other ways, by the

renewal of baptismal promises. The celebration of Confirmation

during the Eucharist helps underline the unity of the sacraments

of Christian initiation. (CCC, no. 1321)

The connection between Confirmation and Baptism is also reflected

in the choosing of a name by which the candidate will be confirmed,

especially when the chosen name is one of the names by which the can-

didate was baptized.

The Minister of Confirmation

In the early Church, sacramental initiation always involved the bishop;

the bishop was the ordinary minister of both Baptism and Confirmation.

However, pastoral practice changed as the Church expanded rapidly.

When bishops could no longer be present at all celebrations of Baptism,

they chose to retain a role in the process of initiation by continuing to be

the ordinary minister of Confirmation.

In the Latin Church, with the bishop as the minister of Confirmation,

it is evident how this Sacrament can serve to strengthen the person’s bond

with the Church and her apostolic origins. However, there are also times

when the bishop entrusts the celebration of the rite of Confirmation to a

priest, such as in the case of the Baptism of an adult or the reception of

an adult from another Christian community into full communion with

the Church. Bishops may also give this permission in other cases.

In the Eastern Churches, Confirmation is conferred by a priest

at the time of Baptism, and in some of these Churches, it is followed

by the reception of the Eucharist. This practice underlines the unity of

the three Sacraments of Initiation. The priest confirms with the


or oil consecrated by the bishop. This expresses the apostolic unity of

the Church.