Baptism and the Eucharist are the first two sacraments of Christian Initiation. The final sacrament of Christian Initiation is Confirmation. Confirmation can be described as having the following characteristics:
1) Final Sacrament of Initiation. The Bishop lays hands on each confirmed and says ” Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” This completes the gift of the Holy Spirit begun in Baptism.
2) Gifts of the Spirit are Fully Available. In Confirmation, there is an increase and deepening of the sanctifying grace first received in Baptism. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are opened fully to the confirmed.
3) Participation by the Confirmed. In baptism, the infant is received into the family of the church through sponsors. No action on the part of the Infant is required. In confirmation, the age of reason has been reached and the confirmed fully participates in the acceptance of the Holy Spirit as their lifelong guide and takes their place in the Church of Jesus Christ.
4) Indelible mark. Similar to Baptism, the newly confirmed is ‘marked’ with an indelible spiritual mark on the soul identifying them as belonging to the mystical body of Christ for eternity.
5) Coming of Age in the Body of Christ. The confirmed is enriched by the Holy Spirit and strengthened to be a better witness for Christ; receives the strength to spread and defend the faith. St Thomas Aquinas thought that if confirmation was received without Baptism being performed first, then no sanctifying grace would be bestowed. Baptism represents our rebirth in Jesus Christ; Confirmation is our coming of age in Christ. These sacraments are tied together.