The Year of Confirmation Has Begun
The preparations for the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of first missionaries Ss. Cyril and Methodius to the then Great Moravian Empire is to be celebrated in 2013. In preparation for this great jubilee, the Czech Catholic and Eastern-rite bishops have ordered the three preceeding years to be in a special way devouted to the three "sacraments of initiation into the life of faith" - the Baptism, the Confirmation and the Eucharist.
The Year of Confirmation is, therefore, to be pastorally and otherwise focused on the graces obtained through this sacrament. It will culminate in a Novena on Confirmation which will be issued by Czech Bishops specially for this occasion and prayed before the solemnity of Pentecost.
Apart from Christian faith, the saint missionaries and patron saints of Europe, Cyril and Methodius, brought literacy to the Czech soil in the 10th century. They devised a script, the "Hlaholice" or "Cyrilice", to accomodate the then vernacular and even obtained an exeption for it to be used in worship instead of Latin. Thus, they laid the foundation of education and culture in the mid-European region and helped the Slavonic peoples to whom their mission advanced to find and define their identity in Christendom. Their cultural significance in the history of the Czech Republic is also strongly accented in the celebrations of the Year of Confirmation
The Sacrament of Confirmation belongs among the three sacraments that usher an individual into the life of a Christian. The Roman Catholic Church usually separates it from the Baptism so that it is received by individuals who are capable of using their own reason. Thus, the second year of preparations also symbolizes the gradual both the progression an individual makes and the progression Czech nation has made towards maturity of faith.
A more detailed account on the Sacrament of Confirmation can be found in articles 1285-1321 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.