Before Jesus was put to death, He promised His followers that He would send His Spirit to comfort and strengthen them. True to His promise, the Holy Spirit was poured out on them on Pentecost, forty days after His resurrection from the dead. The Sacrament of Confirmation is our own Pentecost. When we are confirmed, we receive the Holy Spirit, through the anointing with oil and the laying on of hands by the bishop or a priest appointed by him.
Together with the Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, Confirmation is one of the sacraments of initiation, completing the action and reception of grace that began with Baptism. Confirmation more perfectly binds the faithful to the Church, and it enriches them with a special strength in the Holy Spirit so as to enable all of God's children to more boldly proclaim and defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Sacrament, sadly, is understood by so many as a "graduation" from their formation in the Faith. In reality, when the Holy Spirit descends on the confirmands, He empowers them with His seven-fold gift to increase in them the life of virtue and holiness. This is the beginning of a new chapter in their life in the Church, so much so that, after being sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, Mother Church expects the newly confirmed to be bold witnesses to the proclamation of salvation through Christ, and to live lives worthy of the call they have received.