Confirmation completes the initiation of a person into the Catholic Church. It is considered one of the three sacraments of initiation, along with Baptism and the Eucharist. The Church teaches that the graces imparted by baptism are perfected in the sacrament of Confirmation, and it encourages all baptized Catholics to receive Confirmation if they have not done so already.
The Catholic Church teaches that Confirmation was prefigured in the Gospel of Matthew at Christ's baptism in the River Jordan when the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove. In the Book of Acts, the Apostles are filled with the Holy Spirit, which they pass on to other Christians through the laying on of hands. The Church considers the laying on of hands to be an essential part of the sacrament, along with the words "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit." The Church uses consecrated oil in Confirmation as an outward sign of the inward grace conferred by the sacrament. It believes that the sacrament imprints a spiritual mark upon the soul of the receiver. Ordinarily the sacrament of Confirmation is administered by a bishop, but the bishop can grant faculties for Confirmation to parish priests on occasions where the bishop cannot be present.