--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, "Sean W. Reed" <skreed1@...> wrote:
> I could certainly explain the teaching on this, but I suspect you
> would reject it because you don't agree with it.
If I reject it, it is because it is not supported by Scripture or
the Fathers of the Church.
> St. Thomas Aquinas, a canonized saint and Doctor of the Church,
> done a masterful job, (as always)of treating this subject, as have
> countless others. Walter Farrell in the mid 20th Century, in his
> "Companion to Summa" http://stjamescatholic.org/farrell/ has also
> treated this in great detail. Bishop James P. DeWolfe of the
> Episcopal Church wrote a great deal about this also. They all
> It all comes down do we believe what the church teaches or what we
> prefer to think we modern folks have "restored" in the church.
I, for one, do not believe that the Church has any authority to
alter the truth. She may alter her manner of worship (provided it
doesn't go delve into what the Scriptures forbid) but she may never
change her theology...
If the Church has changed her theology on Confirmation/Chrismation,
an assertion that is readily apparent when reviewing ancient ritual
traditions and finding no evidence for confirmation/chrismation
apart from baptism except among those who were recieving folks from
heterodox traditions, one has to ask, where is the history to prove
that a Middle Age or Modern theologian can do better than the
Fathers of the Church?
> All this seems to be moving pretty far from Liturgy.
On the contrary, it remains at the heart of Liturgy. Do we do as
has been modeled for us by the most ancient Fathers of our Church,
or do we do as someone later suggests - someone who hails from an
era when the Church in the West was most definately *not* breathing
from both lungs of her tradition?
I highly respect Augustine and Thomas Aquinas... but, at the same
time, I stringently disagree with many of their assertions -
including their views (together with the generally accepted Western
view) on Original Sin, embracing instead the Eastern view on the
matter. The theology I embrace, in turn, affects my liturgical
Looking back at nearly every historical baptismal liturgy we have,
the deacons or deaconesses baptize an individual, then bring them
out of the pool, clothe them, and take them directly to the bishop
for Chrismation. There is no other confirmation rite... period.
There is no historical evidence for what we would today call
Confirmation until, what, the late 4th or early 5th century? How
can we argue that Confirmation is one of the central Sacraments of
the Church when Confirmation, in its origins, was simply the
conclusion of the Baptismal Rite?
To give a more apt example...
When I was baptised at the age of 7 1/2 at my own request, after the
pouring of water, I was anointed with Chrism and a prayer for the
descent of the Spirit was offered over me. I was standing in a line
with everyone else who had been baptized that night, the Easter
Vigil, all adults except me. The same prayer was offered over all
They all recieved certificates for "Christian Initiation" detailing
all three Sacraments - baptism, confirmation, and communion. I
recieved a Certificate of Baptism. There was no difference in the
rite or the prayer (and no, my memory isn't faulty... I have watched
the video on several occassions and have heard the exact same prayer
for the Spirit repeated over every person in the line). Yet, when I
was a Sophomore in High School, I was told I needed to be
confirmed. What did I need? What more could have been added? The
Church Fathers seem to agree that nothing could be added. I was
baptized and chrismated by a Priest with the faculty to confim.
When can Confirmation rise to the Sacramental importance that has
classically been linked to it? In my mind, it is only when baptism
was performed by someone outside of Apostolic Succession - based on
the Acts example of the Apostles confirming the baptisms in
Other than that example, I see no scriptural or historical evidence
that attests to the need for a second Post-Baptismal Anointing.