Many of us probably do not remember being baptized. For most of us, this initiation into God's family happened when we were very young, perhaps an infant.
To that end, Confirmation is the Sacrament where those that were formerly initiated into the Church through the Sacrament of Baptism may formally, and personally, affirm the promises made on their behalf when they were baptized.
To be confirmed, a person must be over the age of seven. The person must also be a baptized Christian.
Note, in most cases it does not matter if a person was baptized Catholic. We, as Catholics, believe in "one baptism for the forgiveness of sins". So if a person was previously baptized as a Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, etc., that person's baptism is considered valid. Such a person is already a child of God and a member of God's holy family.
Confirmation, meanwhile, is specific to the Catholic faith. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, a person renews their baptismal promises and receives the gift of God's grace to carry out the Christian mission.
To be confirmed, candidates must be taught what it means to be Catholic and what the Church expects of them as Catholic Christians.
Grade school children typically receive the required catechesis in the CCD program. It is typically a two-year program that cumulates with the entire class being confirmed together.
Adults who desire to be confirmed into the Catholic Church will typically be asked to attend RCIA classes. This is typically a one-year program and commitment.
If a person wishing to enter into the Catholic Church has not been baptized, they can be both baptized and confirmed at the same time.
For additional information on the Sacrament of Confirmation, please contact Deacon Alvin.