What is confirmation?
Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptized and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop. The Church also asks God to give you power through the Holy Spirit to enable you to live in the way of Jesus.
Who can get confirmed?
Any person who has been baptized can be confirmed. Teenagers and young adults are often confirmed when they first begin to "own" their baptismal promises for themselves. Adult converts to Christianity are normally confirmed following their baptism and those who are new to the Anglican Church, who have never been confirmed by a bishop, are also welcome to receive confirmation.
The confirmation service
Your confirmation will be led by a bishop. It will normally take place at a special service at our cathedral here in Hamilton.
There will normally be a rehearsal before the confirmation service so that you understand everything that happens in the service. The priest will make sure you know where to sit and when you need to move. Some parts of the service will be for the whole congregation to join in; some will be for just you and the other confirmation candidates to say.
Making decisions and promises
If you were baptized as a child, your parents and godparents were asked to declare publicly on your behalf that they believed in God and that they would bring you up to follow Jesus. They were asked to answer, on your behalf, that you had decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ. At confirmation, you will renew these decisions and promises and make them for yourself.
The declarations made by you will be made in front of the church congregation; the local Christian community will promise to support you and pray for you.
At the Service of Confirmation
The Service of Confirmation takes place in the context of a celebration of Holy Eucharist. The bishop will lead the congregation in the renewal of baptismal promises. Each candidate for confirmation will come forward to have the bishop pray for the indwelling and empowering of the Holy Spirit. The bishop will make the sign of the cross on your forehead with oil. This is a sign of the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit. It is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.
If you wish more information, or if you wish to be confirmed, please talk to one of our parish clergy.