Baptism is  ‘a Serious Business’

Baptism and Confirmation used to happen at the same time, but over the centuries they have become two halves of the same thing - Christian initiation, or joining the church. If you are thinking of being baptised as an adult please consider being confirmed by the bishop as well. When adults are to be baptised the vicar should notify the Bishop of Wakefield  and give him 7 days notice so that he can have the opportunity to baptise them, and to confirm them and admit them to holy communion at the same time. Some are ready to make a public declaration of their faith with the bishop present and lots of people; others are ready to begin the journey of faith but don’t want to make a fuss or draw attention to themselves by being confirmed.

Please give this some thought, I am happy to follow your directions in this. I can say that you are not ready to be confirmed, or would not yet like to be confirmed, or that you would like to be. The choice is yours!

Confirmation is to baptism what eating a takeaway is to ordering it. It is the entree to the appetiser, or the dessert to the main course. Confirmation allows Christians to receive holy communion, ie the bread and wine at the holy communion. Hidden for centuries (till 325AD) from non-believers the eucharist is the central focus of Christian practice, and you are invited to be part of it. Would you like to receive the body and blood of Christ? Do you want to have your sins forgiven? Believe in God, and be confirmed, receive God’s Holy Spirit so that you can ‘discern the body’ as St Paul describes recognising Jesus in the breaking of bread and sharing of wine.

Confirmation often takes place in the Cathedral in Wakefield, the Mother Church of the Diocese, or regional church organisation. It rarely takes place in the church where the candidate feels most comfortable, as its purpose is to help them understand that they belong to a worldwide church.

Confirmation is also ‘a Serious Business’.

What is a font?

The font is like an overgrown bird-bath, but it is where the water is blessed and the baby or adult is baptised or christened in the holy water. Lives change at the font, but only if people want God to be part of their lives. These fonts are 800 years old, and  over 500 years old (above and below).

A bishop administering Confirmation. Rogier van der Weyden, The Seven Sacraments, 15th century.

What is a bishop?

A bishop is someone who has been consecrated bishop by an archbishop with other bishops helping. A diocesan bishop carries a staff or crozier, and wears a mitre when he is in his own diocese. A diocesan bishop is a very important person who is a focus of unity for the church and is both a manager of clergy and churches and an administrator and pastor.