What is Confirmation?
1) Confirmation is an accident of history.
Confirmation, or the ceremony when the bishop prays for you and lays his hand on your head, used to be part of one single ceremony till the bishop got too busy to baptise everyone.
2) Confirmation is a sacrament of God’s Church.
Confirmation is carried out by the bishop, in a cathedral or parish church, for those who have been baptised and now wish to affirm for themselves their faith and their intention to live a life as responsible and committed followers of Jesus Christ.
3) Confirmation is a rite of passage
Many people get confirmed then leave the Church. That’s sad, as it should be a beginning not an ending.
Confirmation is the sacrament in which the Holy Spirit comes to us in a special way to join us more closely to Jesus and his Church and to seal and strengthen us as Christ's witnesses.
4) Confirmation is the entrance exam for receiving holy communion.
Confirmation is still seen by many as the thing you need to do in order to be able to receive communion.
5) Confirmation is a social event.
Family and friends will be so proud of you, when you are confirmed by the bishop. It is an opportunity for parents and carers to think of young people as adults making their own decisions in life. Parents don’t like to see their children grow up as quickly.as they do, it’s hard for parents to watch a boy grow into a man or a girl into a woman before their parents are ready to cope with it! How old you have to be to be confirmed depends on the bishop.
6) Confirmation reminds others of your baptism.
Confirmation is an event in your life that others have waited for for a long time, since your baptism How many years ago is that? Think of it as the practical part of a driving test, and think of baptism as the theory test which you take first. In the old days when you were confirmed you had to recite the catechism, but now there is no exam, so you don’t need to worry.
Some people are confirmed later in life after a long period of absence from church. This can be a very exciting time of personal renewal and the course an opportunity to look afresh at what Christians believe. There are regular confirmation and refresher courses to help adults and young people explore faith, please contact the vicar for more details of these.
Marriage candidates may be baptised as part of their preparation for Christian marriage. They may wish to be confirmed by the bishop, either then or at a later date.
The choice is theirs.
7) Confirmation and God
At confirmation the bishop will place his hands on your head or shoulder and ask God to send his Holy Spirit into your life. God does not enter uninvited, he won’t force his way in, he will only go where he is invited. If you are thinking about being confirmed think about what it might mean to follow Jesus and be guided by his Holy Spirit.
8) Confirmation is not something to worry about.
Don’t panic! Although it seems important now, once it is over you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.