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Author Topic: Bishop needed for Chrismation/Confirmation?  (Read 441 times) Average Rating: 0
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Timon
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« on: May 09, 2013, 10:48:18 AM »

Why do Catholics have to have a Bishop present for Confirmation, but we dont?
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 12:53:37 PM »

Why do Catholics have to have a Bishop present for Confirmation, but we dont?

Orthodox don't have a rite of "Confirmation" (which is something that typically happens to Roman Catholic tweens years after they have received their first Communion at age 7 or 8 and then undergone a period of religious education).

Orthodox, on the other hand, have one, integrated rite of Christian initiation, including Baptism, Chrismation and then Eucharist (with several other ceremonies thrown in all at once). Some texts speak of Baptism as a personal Pascha and Chrismation as a personal Pentecost, leading immediately to full incorporation into the Body of Christ as a partaker of the Eucharist. There is no sense that these sacraments can be spread out over 10 or 12 years. A baby or a convert is made a Christian and a full member of the Church, right from the start.

In some comparative manuals, one will see the claim that RC "confirmation" = EO "chrismation." It's only true in a very attenuated, historical sense. The two practices have developed into very different rites with different theologies.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 01:02:02 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 01:20:16 PM »

Gotcha. I knew we did ours right away after baptism. I was more thinking for someone like myself, who wont have to be rebaptized again, but will need to be Chrismated. Me and a friend were discussing this the other day, and we were both assuming that Confirmation and Chrismation were just two different words for the same thing. He was just confirmed into the Episcopal communion and his Bishop was there to do it. He was wondering why my Bishop wouldnt need to be present when I am Chrismated and I didnt have a good answer.

Practically speaking, we dont have as many Bishops as Westerners do, so it would not be likely that my Bishop would be able to attend everyones Chrismation. Although, im sure theres more of a theological reason behind it.
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2013, 01:38:29 PM »

...  Huh I don't know.
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pensateomnia
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 01:51:32 PM »

Gotcha. I knew we did ours right away after baptism. I was more thinking for someone like myself, who wont have to be rebaptized again, but will need to be Chrismated. Me and a friend were discussing this the other day, and we were both assuming that Confirmation and Chrismation were just two different words for the same thing. He was just confirmed into the Episcopal communion and his Bishop was there to do it. He was wondering why my Bishop wouldnt need to be present when I am Chrismated and I didnt have a good answer.

Practically speaking, we dont have as many Bishops as Westerners do, so it would not be likely that my Bishop would be able to attend everyones Chrismation. Although, im sure theres more of a theological reason behind it.

The simplest and best answer is that it is a different rite. You aren't being "confirmed" in the faith; you're being initiated into the Church.

Neither practice is the "original." In reality, there were many practices in different parts of the Christian Empire. These things change over time. But the use of oils and chrism in the rite of initiation itself is definitely older than a separate rite of "confirmation." However, early Christians wouldn't have recognized "chrismation" as something different from Baptism itself. It's all the same thing: initiation into the Church.

And to further complicate things: there are certain pockets of the Orthodox world that basically follow the RC practice, baptizing by aspersion and delaying communion until a later age.

Nothing can be simple, especially when it comes to rites of Christian initiation.  Wink
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 04:24:58 PM »

The priest is the representative of the Bishop.

The others are just doing it wrong, that's all.  Wink
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 10:45:30 AM »

Also, do not forget, priests in the RCC CAN confirm people win the permission of his bishop. This is done on Holy Saturday, at the Easter Vigil Mass. And to slightly contradict myself, this is the one day of the year that priests can and do perform Confirmation on converts, without permission of the bishop, which is not needed on this day.
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 11:13:56 AM »

Also, do not forget, priests in the RCC CAN confirm people win the permission of his bishop. This is done on Holy Saturday, at the Easter Vigil Mass. And to slightly contradict myself, this is the one day of the year that priests can and do perform Confirmation on converts, without permission of the bishop, which is not needed on this day.

Interesting. did not know that. thanks!
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 04:44:00 PM »

Why do Catholics have to have a Bishop present for Confirmation, but we dont?

As has been stated, the bishop is considered the ordinary minister of Confirmation in most circumstances.  A priest who is pastor of a parish is also granted the faculty of confirming any non-infants he baptizes or baptized Christians he receives into communion with the Catholic Church and this applies to anytime not just the Paschal vigil.
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2013, 04:46:48 PM »

When I was in the RCC, I was confirmed by a bishop.
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2013, 05:01:24 PM »

In some comparative manuals, one will see the claim that RC "confirmation" = EO "chrismation." It's only true in a very attenuated, historical sense. The two practices have developed into very different rites with different theologies.

It is true in every sense.  Confirmation is the completion of Christian initiation.  It is done with Chrism and the words "The Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit."  Rome reserved the completion of initiation to the bishop to emphasize the bishop's role as the original pastor.  It was not until Pope St Pius X allowed Communion before Confirmation that the ancient sequence of Christian initiation was disturbed.  This led to a bogus popular idea that Confirmation=Catholic Bar Mitzvah but it was never taught by the Church.
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