Diocese of Orange Celebrates Pentecost ritual honoring the Holy Spirit
Young Catholics confirmed across the diocese during the annual celebration
ORANGE, CA (May 27, 2012) – The Most Rev. Tod D. Brown, Bishop of Orange, celebrates Pentecost and Confirmation at Holy Family Cathedral. Pentecost is the celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised would come to His followers after His ascension to heaven. The Pentecost celebration nowadays includes the rite of Confirmation and is one of the few occasions during the liturgical year that the Bishop allows parish priests to confirm.
“This glorious celebration recognizes the gift of the Holy Spirit, realizing that God’s very life, breath and energy lives within us. Pentecost is the birthday of the Christian church, and the beginning of the church's mission to the world,” Bishop Brown said. “I am blessed on this most holy of days to confirm nearly 100 new Catholics into the Roman Catholic Church.”
Individuals completing the Sacraments of Initiation are confirmed into the Roman Catholic Church through the gift of the Holy Spirit. A candidate makes a conscious choice to become Christ’s presence in the world and to bring this presence to others. Confirmation, like baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian’s soul; for this reason one can receive this sacrament only once in their life.
The essential rite of Confirmation is the anointing of a baptized person’s forehead with sacred chrism oil with the words: “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit,” together with the laying on of the priest’s or bishop’s hands. To be sealed with sacred chrism oil means to be marked as belonging to Christ.
Pentecost is a celebration that evokes great joy and blessing within the church. During Pentecost, many seek and pray for spiritual gifts for the church. Priests wear red vestments as a symbol of the flames in which the Holy Spirit came to earth. Other symbols of the Holy Spirit include wind, the breath of God and a dove.
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