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Second Council of Cabaillon. 813. Canon 27. It has been told us, that some of the people are confirmed two or three times by the bishops, who themselves are unconscious of it. Whence it has seemed good to us, that confirmation, like baptism, should by no means be repeated.
Sirth Council of Paris. 829. The Acts of the Apostles, and canonical authority, clearly demonstrate that the bishops hold the place of the apostles, but the village bishops the example and form of the seventy disciples. Since these things are so, there has sprung up a reprehensible and wholly modern custom, that certain of the village bishops, exceeding their measure, give the gift of the Holy Spirit, by imposition of hands, and do other things which belong to the chief priests alone, contrary to right.
(This custom, accordingly, is refuted at length, and expressly prohibited.]
Prohibited, likewise, by the 44th Canon of Council of Melun.-Conc. vii. 1833; Conc. vii. 1617.
Canon 33. It has come to our ears, that in some provinces most of the bishops confer the Holy Spirit, by imposition of hands, after eating and drinking, which seems to all of us unsuitable to so excellent a ministry; and that henceforth it ought not to be done. [They refer to the apostles, whom they believe to have received the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, while fasting, and to have delivered it to others while fasting.] For as baptism, except in case of sickness, is not celebrated but by fasting priests, so also the delivering of the Holy Ghost, except in the same case of sickness, is to be celebrated by fasting pontiffs. Indeed, it is meet that the chief pries.s of Christ should first prepare, in their own hearts, a house for the Holy Ghost, by fasting and prayer ; and so, by imposition of hands, deliver him to the rest of the faithful in praying. Moreover, as baptism is deli. vered to the faithful at two seasons, to-wit. Easter and Pentecost, so let the delivering of the Holy Spirit, by imposition of hands, be; except as has been said, in the case of the sick, and those in danger of death; to whom, as the grace of baptism is to be supplied, so also, without delay, is the gift of the Holy Ghost to be delivered.--Ibid. 1621.
Second Council of Aix la Chapelle. 836. Canon 8. It is decreed that, throughout all the provinces, at least once in the year—that is, on the fifth day, which is on the supper of the Lord, (Maunday Thursday,)-the anointing of holy oil, in which the salvation of the sick is believed, be not neglected by the bishops, as it is now, but that it be performed with all devotion, according to apostolic tradition, &c.—Conc. vii. 1708.
Council of Melun. 845. Canon 46. That no one presume to make the holy chrism, except on the fifth day of the great week; that is, on the supper which is specially called the Lord's, (Maunday Thursday.)-Ibid. 1834.
From the Chapters of Herard of Tours. 858. 75. That persons of a full age (perfectæ ætatis) come fasting to confirmation; and let them be admonished first to make confession, that being clean, they may be able to receive the gift of the lloly Spirit.-Conc. viii. 633.
Council of Worms., 868. Canon 8.
Let it not be allowed to the presbyters to consecrate churches, nor to give the Comforter, the Spirit, by imposition of hands, nor to make the chrism, nor to sign the forehead of baptized persons with chrism.Ibid. 948.
Council of Rouen. 1072. Canon 7. Let not the gift of the Holy Ghost be administered but by thos who fast, to those who fast; nor let it be done without fire.--Conc, ix. 1226.
Synodical Constitution of Odo, Archbishop of Paris. Circ. 1160.3 Cap. iv. 1. Let the priests frequently admonish the people to the confirmation of children. 2. The sacrament of confirmation ought to be received after baptism. 3. If the person to be confirmed be grown up, let him first make confession, and afterwards be confirmed. 4. Let the laity be often told, not to wait long for the bishop's coming to confirm the children, but that they take them to him, unless they hear that he is at hand; and that names may be changed in confirmation if they wish it, or think it expedient. 5. No priest should presume to confirm for it belongs to the bishop only to confirm.-Conc. X. 1802.
Council of London. 1200. Canon 3. If there be a doubt concerning baptism, or confirmation, we de.. cree, according to the decrees of the holy canons, that it be conferred . We add also, that no one be held at confirmation by a father or mother, of stepfather, or stepmother.Conc. xi. 14. (See also 39 Const. of Edm. Abp. Cant. 1236.-Ibid. 513.) Constitutions of Richard Poore, Bishop of Salisbury. 1217.
XIII, Оf the Number of the Sacraments.
The second (sacrament) is the imposition of hands, which is done by the bishop, which is called confirmation ; which arms and strengthens against the devil those who are entered into the world, and sanctified by baptism ; and is the sacrament of those who fight.-Ibid. 251.
XXIV. Of the Sacrament of Confirmation. As the sacrament of confirmation, is given to children for strength, let the priests often admonish the people to the confirmation of children. For the sacrament of confirmation ought to be received after the sacrament of baptism; and let it be publicly proposed in the church, that if through the neglect or carelessness of the parents, any child shall erceed the age of five years, without being confirmed—[in Wilkins' Concilia, who ascribes these canons to Ric. de Marisco, Bishop of Durham, 1220, the term mentioned is seven years ; see Wilk. i. 576)—both father and mother be suspended from entering the church until he be confirmed. The priest who has been negligent about this shall be subject to the same punishment. And if an adult at Lent, or any other time, come not to confirmation, not having been confirmed-which is to be carefully inquired into- let him be sent to the bishop to be confirmed.
In this sacrament, as in baptism, spiritual relationship is contracted between those who take up the children, (the God parents,) and the parents, and between the children who are taken up.-Ibid. 253.
[See also 39 Const. Abp. Edm. 1236.—Ibid. 513; and Conc. Prov. Scot. 1225, $ 56. Wilkins, i. 614.]
Council of Worcester, 1240. VI. But because to the baptized, as a neophyte, that is, a new soldier of Christ, a manifold conflict arises against the prince of darkness
. he has need of the sacrament of confirmation which the church has thought to be given for strength to the faithful. Wherefore, we enjoin the parish priests zealously and often to admonish their people, that they cause their little ones to be confirmed; and let the fathers and mothers know, that after a year, counted from the birth of the child, they will themselves be suspended from entering the church, if within the year they shall not have presented them to be confirmed ; provided, however, that they shall have had the opportunity of a bishop, or that there shall have been an open progress of a bishop through the places where they live. And let the mothers of children provide, that when they go to the bishop
to be confirmed, they have bandages of new cloth. And let those who shall have been confirmed be carried to church on the third day, to be washed in the baptismal font, and the bandages to be burned. And let no man or woman hold his son or daughter before the bishop to be confirmed ; nor let a man hold a Womas, nor a woman' a man.
And let the faithful, also, be admonished, that they cause not their children to be often confirmed, since confirmation, like baptism, ought not to be at all repeated. --Conc. xi. 575.
Synodal Decrees of Richard Bishop of Chichester, 1246.
From the Epistles of Innocent IV.
Council of Albi. 1254. Canon 49. We forbid all clergy, as well secular as regular, to make to themselves co-mothers, by lifting children from the sacred font, or holding any in confirmation.-Ibid. 733.
Council of Arles. 1260.
Council of Nicosia.
We will and direct that every Greek bishop, every year, on
Council of Nicosia. 1298.
to be confirmed, they first confess their sins, and afterwards be confirmed. --But let children, who are able to understand, come to confirmation, Let the priests often tell the laity, that they neglect not that sacrament, since in the receiving of it grace is strengthened. Ibid. 2410.
Council of Cologne.. 1280. V. Let the presbyters admonish the parents of those who are baptized, but not yet confirmed, that at seven years, or older, they bring them to the bishop, who alone is able to confirm ; and let their hair be shorn, especially that which hangs down in front; and let their foreheads be carefully washed, and let them have bands of linen cloth, spun without seam, and without knot, of the breadth of three fingers, and of sufficient length, white and very clean. Excepting the father and mother, let the children be offered by those who have knowledge of them, and best know that they have not been confirmed. And on the third day after confirmation, let them bring them to church, and let the presbyter wash their foreheads, and burn their bands, and let the ashes of the bands, and the water of ablution, be cast into a sacred place, the piscina, or lavatory. If they who are to be confirmed are ten years old, or more, let them make confession to their priests before they are confirmed. Let the parents of the confirmed, and the confirmed themselves, frequently call to mind when, and by whom, and where, they have been confirmed.- Ibid. 1112. Council of Lambeth. 1281.
ric IV. Many rashly neglect the sacrament of confirmation, for want of watchful exhorters to it; so that many, almost without number, wax old in evil days, who have not yet received the grace of confirmation. To meet such damnable neglect, we decree, that none be admitted to the sacrament of the body and blood of the Lord, who has not been confirmed ; except at the point of death, or unless he has been reasonably hindered from receiving confirmation.-Ibid, 1160.
Synod of Exeter. 1287. Since in baptism we are regenerated unto life, after baptism we are confirmed to fight; because we have a great and grievous struggle to undergo with the. prince of darkness. Wherefore westrictly charge the parish priests, that they frequently advise their parishioners that, as soon as possibly, they can, they procure confirmation for their children, who have been baptized. And lest it happen. that, by the neglect of the parents, they remain a long time unconfirmed, we de cree that children receive the sacrament of confirmation within three years of their birth; provided there be the opportunity of their own, or another bishop. Otherwise, let the parents thenceforth fast on bread and water every Friday, until the children are confirmed.
But let adults, by no means, be offered for confirmation, unless they shall first confess their sins the same day.
Let those who are to be confirmed bring with them clean bands, &c.
But let the priests instruct their parishioners, that no father, nor mother, nor stepfather, nor stepmother, hold their child to be confirmed by the bishop, nor. let a woman hold a man, nor a man a woman, nor one who has not been con-, firmed hold any.
Also, between those who hold children at confirmation on the one part, and the confirmed and their parents on the other, spiritual relationship is contracted, as in baptism; on account of which they are forbidden to contract marriage with one another, &c. &c.
[Repeated in the Syn. Const. of Winchester. 1308. Wilkins, ii. 293.)Ibid. 1267.
Council of Oxford. 1322. [Wilkins assigns these to the year 1222.-See Wilkins, i. 594.] 2. [Contains a repetition of all the instructions concerning confirmation,
which are to be found in the Constitutions of Odo, Archbishop of Paris, 1160; of the Council of Cologne, 1280 ; and of the preceding Council of Exeter, 1287 ;
viz., that it be administered as soon after baptism as may be ; that in the case of adults, they receive it after confession, and come fasting ; that parents and step-parents act not as sponsors in it; that spiritual relationship is contracted by it; that it be not repeated, &c. &c.]-See Johnson's Collection of Ecclesiastical Laws, vol. II.
Decree of Pope Eugenius to the Armenians.
(At the Council of Florence.) 1439. The second sacrament is confirmation, of which the matter is chrism, composed of oil, which signifies brightness of conscience, and balsam, which signifies the odour of good report, blessed by the bishop. But the form is: “I sigui thee with the sign of the cross, and confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The ordinary minister is the bishop. And whereas a mere priest can exhibit the other unctions, none but a bishop, ought to confer this ; because it is only read of the apostlei, whose office the bishops hold, that they gave the Holy Spirit, by imposition of hands, as the reading of the Acts of the Apostles declares :
“ When the apostles, that were in Jerusalem,” &c. Confirmation is given in the church in lieu of that imposition of hands. We read, however, that sometimes, by dispensation of the apostlic see, from some reasonable and very urgent cause, a mere priest has administered this sacrament of confirmation, with chrism confected by a bishop. The effect of this sacrament is, that in it the Holy Spirit is given for strength, as he was given to the apostles on the day of Pentecost; that namely, the Christian may boldly confess the name of Christ. Therefore, the person to be confirmed is anointed in the forehead, where the seat of modesty, that he may not blush to confess the name of Christ, and especially his cross on which account he is signed with the sign of the cross.-Conc. xiii. 536.
Council of Sens. 1528.
It was not obscurely that Christ instituted the sacrament of confirmation, when he laid his hands upon the children. Which sacrament we read to have been promulgated by the apostles, when they sent to the Samaritans, Peter and John, from whom they (although before baptized by Philip the deacon) might receive the Holy Spirit, by imposition of hands. Whence, also, it was then called the sacrament of laying on of hands, now that of confirmation. Since in baptism we are regenerated to life, after baptism we are by this sacrament confirmed to fight. În baptism we are washed, after baptism we are strengthened in this sacrament, &c. --Conc. xiv. 452.
Council of Cologne. 1536. Part vii. Chap. 8. Likewise, while the sacrament of confirmation is bestowed, our vicars, in pontificals, shall teach what is done ; namely, that there the grace of the Holy Spirit is sought, by which the young Christian is confirmed and strengthened against Satan's temptations, that what he believes in his heart unlo righteousness, he may with the mouth make confession thereof unto salvation. Wherefore the tender age is wont to be communicated in it, as being more inclined to wickedness than to piety ; that that proneness may be diminished, and the docility towards piety be increased. [Then follows the extract from Urban I. which forms the first in this collection.]
Chap. 9. We do not here decide upon the expediency of observing the custom, that confirmation should be given to those who are not adults, even to infants, and to those who are not fasting; although we rather prefer the decree of the Council of Orleans ; namely, that persons should come to confirmation fasting, of a complete age; that they be admonished to make sacramental confession before they come, that being clean they may he worthy to receive the gift of the Vol. XIII.—June, 1838.