Religion: Confirmation Demilitarized

Confirmation, in the Roman Catholic Church, is the sacrament that marks the young Catholic's entry into the adult church, a kind of personal Pentecost in which he gathers strength from the Holy Spirit to become a mature Christian. Usually administered to youngsters between the age of seven and their early teens, the sacrament is meant to reaffirm their baptismal commitment, and is generally conferred personally by a bishop.

For centuries, the form has been the same: an application of the holy oils (chrism) on the recipient's forehead and the words "I mark you with the sign of the cross and I confirm...

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