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The more serious the danger so much greater is the need of protecting oneself". The sponsor should be at least fourteen years of age, of the same sex as the candidate, should have already received the Sacrament of Confirmation, and be well instructed in the Catholic Faith.From this office are excluded the father and mother of the candidate, members of a religious order (unless the candidate be a religious), public sinners, and those who are under public ban of interdict or excommunication.The Eastern Church omits the imposition of hands and the prayer at the beginning, and accompanies the anointing with the words: "the sign [or seal ] of the gift of the Holy Ghost." These several actions symbolize the nature and purpose of the sacrament : the anointing signifies the strength given for the spiritual conflict; the balsam contained in the chrism, the fragrance of virtue and the good odor of Christ ; the sign of the cross on the forehead, the courage to confess Christ, before all men; the imposition of hands and the blow on the cheek, enrollment in the service of Christ which brings true peace to the soul. In such cases, however, the priest cannot wear pontifical vestments, and he is obliged to use chrism blessed by a Catholic bishop.In the Greek Church, confirmation is given by simple priests without special delegation, and their ministration is accepted by the Western Church as valid.In the early ages of the Church, confirmation was part of the rite of initiation, and consequently was administered immediately after baptism.When, however, baptism came to be conferred by simple priests, the two ceremonies were separated in the Western Church.Further, when infant baptism became customary, confirmation was not administered until the child had attained the use of reason.This is the present practice, though there is considerable latitude as to the precise age.
From the external rite it is known as the "imposition of hands" ( epithesis cheiron ), or as "anointing with chrism" ( unctio, chrismatio, chrisma, myron ).
A sacrament in which the Holy Ghost is given to those already baptized in order to make them strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.
It has been variously designated: bebaiosis or confirmatio , a making fast or sure; teleiosis or consummatio , a perfecting or completing, as expressing its relation to baptism.
They should also be in the state of grace; for the Holy Ghost is not given for the purpose of taking away sin but of conferring additional grace.
This condition, however, refers only to lawful reception; the sacrament is validly received even by those in mortal sin.