In the Diocese of Arlington, confirmation is normally administered by the Bishop to students are who in the eighth grade. With Baptism and the Eucharist, Confirmation is the third essential sacrament of initiation for all Catholics.
Those who wish to receive this sacrament must participate in a two-year preparation which includes study, service, and special projects. An individual who is willing to stand as a sponsor for a confirmand, should fill out and submit the “Confirmation Sponsor Certificate.”
Students of high school age who have not been confirmed may participate in a special program provided for them by St. James Parish. Parents may register their children by contacting the Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) office at 703-533-1182 x104.
Confirmation, like every Sacrament, is not the work of men but of God, who cares for our lives in such a manner as to mould us in the image of his Son, to make us capable of loving like him. He does it by infusing his in us his Holy Spirit, whose action pervades the whole person and his entire life, as reflected in the seven gifts that Tradition, in light of the Sacred Scripture, has always highlighted. These seven gifts: I do not want to ask you if you remember the seven gifts. Perhaps you will all know them…. But I will say them on your behalf. What are these gifts? Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. And these gifts have been given to us precisely with the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation…
When we welcome the Holy Spirit into our hearts and allow him to act, Christ makes himself present in us and takes shape in our lives; through us, it will be he — Christ himself — who prays, forgives, gives hope and consolation, serves the brethren, draws close to the needy and to the least, creates community and sows peace. Think how important this is: by means of the Holy Spirit, Christ himself comes to do all this among us and for us.