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Chrismation is the name given in Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern-rite Catholic churches to the sacrament known as confirmation in the Latin Rite Catholic churches. It is so called because of the holy oil, or chrism, which has been consecrated by a bishop and with which the recipient of the sacrament is anointed, as the priest speaks the words, "the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit."
All Roman Catholics are encouraged to receive the sacrament of confirmation. All Orthodox Christians are required to receive the sacrament of chrismation, and do so immediately after their baptism or conversion.
In the West the sacrament is normally performed by a bishop or a priest he delegates. Since a bishop cannot be present at every infant baptism, this led to the custom of confirming larger groups of older children and young adults, so that confirmation took on something of the nature of a rite of passage, and an opportunity to affirm a personal commitment to the faith. In most cases those being confirmed have been receiving the Eucharist for several years
In the Eastern Church, i.e., in Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern-rite Catholic churches, the sacrament may be performed by a priest, and is usually conferred immediately after baptism; therefore, it is usually received by infants. After receiving this sacrament, the recipient is eligible to receive the Eucharist. In addition, Chrismation is used to admit converts who were originally baptized according to a Trinitarian formula.
In both traditions, the sacrament is considered to bind the recipients more perfectly to the Church, and to enrich them with a special strength of the Holy Spirit (see Lumen Gentium for the Roman Catholic interpretation).
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