Confirmation is the second of the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism being the first and Communion the third). Confirmation is regarded as the perfection of Baptism, because when the baptized person is confirmed, they are "more perfectly bound" to the Church. They are enriched with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and strengthened as witnesses of Christ enabling them to live the faith more fully.
The Form of the Sacrament:
The Minister of the Sacrament is the bishop. The Church has always stressed the connection of confirmation, through the bishop, to the ministry of the apostles. Each bishop is a successor to the apostles, upon whom the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost - the first Confirmation. The Acts of the Apostles mentions the apostles imparting the Holy Spirit to believers by the laying on of hands which signifies the descent of the Holy Spirit. The bishop "lays hands" on those being confirmed. Just as the priest extends his hands over the bread and wine during the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass, calling down the Holy Spirit to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, and to transform us, so to the bishop calls down the Holy Spirit to transform the persons being confirmed. The anointing with chrism (an aromatic oil that has been consecrated by a bishop), accompanied by the words "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit" is a consecration, representing the safeguarding by the Holy Spirit of the graces conferred on the person at Baptism.
The Sacrament of Confirmation roots us more deeply as children of God, unites us more firmly to Christ and increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us. It also renders our bond with the Church more perfectly by strengthing us to live the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ.
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord, and courage.
The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.