What is Confirmation?
Confirmation is a church practice that falls into the category of what the Anglican Catechism calls “rites and institutions commonly called sacraments.” At our baptism we declare that we are disciples of Jesus, at our Confirmation we take our place in the life of the body of Christ, the church, as participants who grow and share their faith.
If you were baptized at a christening when you were a child, your parents and godparents made promises on your behalf. As a young person or adult, you may be ready to affirm these promises for yourself and commit your life to following Jesus Christ. At a confirmation service, you make these promises for yourself. Your friends and family as well as the local Christian community will be there to promise to support and pray for you.
Where did Confirmation Come from?
Confirmation arose out of the early church’s reflection on Scripture in connection to how one became a Christian. It was first used to describe what happened when a bishop would lay hands upon, pray for, and anoint the forehead of the newly baptized with oil, signifying the gift of the Holy Spirit. The newly baptized/confirmed would then proceed to receive their first Eucharist.
Confirmation is the Completion of Baptism
Confirmation following this New Testament practice of laying on hands to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17), is the completion and fullness of Baptism. It enables a baptised person to confirm the promises made on their behalf at infant baptism. It is also a sign of strengthening by the Holy Spirit into membership to the Christian community. Baptism highlights initiation into the body of Christ, Confirmation focuses on growth and maturity.
In Anglican church it is normally done before receiving Communion. Baptism makes Christians and is sufficient to receive Holy Communion.
At what age may I be confirmed
In the Church of England, there is no set age for confirmation although it has been traditional for people to be confirmed in their early teens. Anyone who is old enough to answer responsibly for themselves and has received appropriate preparation can be confirmed. “In confirmation, God strengthens the work of the Holy Spirit in me for his daily increase in my Christian life and ministry.” Catechism.
Growing Up: Confirmation is the Grace to Christian Maturity
In both Baptism and Confirmation, the Holy Spirit is present. But in Baptism, the Spirit washes away our sin, cleanses our guilt, and regenerates us into new life. In Confirmation, on the other hand, the Spirit deepens and strengthens that life, so that we grow up into more mature Christians. The Holy Spirit’s gift of forgiveness in Baptism is but the beginning of a work that is strengthened and enriched in Confirmation.
Confirmation, then, is a rite uniquely related to the Holy Spirit’s ministry of maturity and strengthening—literally, with–firming, being made firm with (Latin, con-) the power of the Spirit. In this, we seek to live out what St. Paul writes in Ephesians about growing up into the full measure of Christ (Eph. 4:13).
Confirmation is NOT Graduation
Far from being the end of the road, Confirmation marks a new beginning, a new, deeper sense of serving and vocation. Confirmation marks you out for a life in mission.
Baptism is like being introduced to the team (the Church) and your coach (Jesus). Confirmation is like the start of the years of practice and team building that it takes to bring an effective team together.
Why Should I be Confirmed?
It means getting to know my life’s purpose and being equipped for the work of God’s kingdom in our communities, in our homes; in the ordinary everyday places where we live and work.
It means we are being raised as generation of Christians who have dedicated their lives to the glory of God in every area of life.
So why should you be confirmed? Why not?
What questions do I have? Call or email Church Office