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.
Preparing for confirmation
To prepare for this step, we usually offer a short course on the Christian faith (Living Questions) along with looking at the service itself and what you will be asked to say and do.
What happens in a confirmation service
Your confirmation service will be led by the bishop. It may take place during the 10am Sunday service at St Mary’s or at a special service at the cathedral or in another church in the area. There will be a rehearsal beforehand so that you understand what will happen. During the service, the bishop will speak to every person being confirmed by name saying:
(name), God has called you by name and made you his own.
The bishop then lays their hand on the head of each saying:
Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit.
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 renew these decisions and promises.
Usually, Confirmation will be followed straight away by Holy Communion.
What is the right age for confirmation?
There is no right age for a person to be confirmed. Anyone who has been baptized may be confirmed if they are old enough to answer responsibly for themselves.
What if I wasn’t baptized as a child?
If you were not baptized as a child and want to make a commitment of faith, you might consider adult baptism or you can be baptized and confirmed in the same service or baptized shortly before your confirmation.
Can I receive communion without being confirmed?
Confirmation is about declaring your intention to live as a disciple of Jesus and a member of a Christian community rather than simply receiving the bread and wine. If you have been baptised and are old enough to understand its meaning, you are welcome to receive Holy Communion. At St Mary’s children may be admitted to Holy Communion, following a course to prepare them for this.
Contact a member of the clergy to find out more about confirmation and first communion for children.