When giving confirmation, the bishop lays his hand on the head of the person he confirms, and anoints the forehead with holy chrism in the form of a cross as he says: “I sign you with the sign of the cross, and I confirm you with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
1. Holy chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balm, blessed by the bishop on Holy Thursday. By anointing the forehead with chrism in the form of a cross is meant that the Catholic who is confirmed must always be ready to profess his faith openly and to practice it fearlessly.
The cross marked on our foreheads at Confirmation reminds us never to be ashamed to profess ourselves disciples of a crucified Saviour. We must profess our religion openly whenever we cannot keep silence without breaking some law of God or of the Church; for example, when we are challenged to make profession of our faith, when the Church is being attacked.
2. After the anointing with chrism, the bishop gives the person confirmed a slight blow on the cheek, saying, “Peace be with you!” It is believed that originally it was “the kiss of peace” given by the bishop, which in the case of babies was replaced by a caress on the cheek. For centuries, however, the explanation given is that the blow should remind the confirmed to be ready to suffer for Christ’s sake.
Finally the bishop gives all his blessing. Then those who have been confirmed or their godparents pray the Credo, “Our Father,” and “Hail Mary.”
3. Those in charge should take care that proper registration takes place after Confirmation. When a person is confirmed outside his own parish, notification must be sent to the parish where he was baptized.