Confirmation is derived from the Latin word "confirmare", which means “to strengthen.” Described along with Baptism by St. Cyprian (d. 258) as the “double sacraments of initiation,” Confirmation is the completion of the initiation begun in Baptism. The sacrament is administered by the bishop of the diocese with the laying on of hands (often accompanied by anointing with chrism), and an invocation of the Holy Spirit for strengthening and the gifts of grace. If Baptism is the sacrament that offers the grace of justification, Confirmation is an outpouring of sanctifying grace.
Almighty and everliving God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by Water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given unto them forgiveness of all their sins: Strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace; the spirit of wisdom and understanding; the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength; the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill them, O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear, now and for ever. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer – 1662)
For Christians who are baptized as infants or young children, Confirmation also serves a number of other purposes:
A public commitment made in Baptism, which include:- A renunciation of the world, the flesh and the devil- A commitment to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior - A commitment to the basics of the Christian faith, summarized in the Apostles’ Creed
A mature, public affirmation of their faith and commitment to Jesus Christ
A public rite of transition from childhood to adult maturity in the Church.
For many in the Anglican Communion, Confirmation serves as the time when a Christian begins to receive Holy Communion.
The following quotation from a sermon by a fifth century bishop (Faustus of Riez) provides a helpful analogy for understanding the relationship between Baptism and Confirmation:
Military discipline requires that when an Emperor has received a man into the number of his soldiers, he should not only put his mark upon the man, but also should equip him with sufficient arms for battle. So in the case of the baptized man, this benediction [i.e., confirmation] is a protection. You have found a soldier, find him the implements of warfare…And so the Holy Ghost, who came down upon the waters of baptism…bestows at the font absolutely all that is necessary to restore innocence: in confirmation he grants a development for progress in grace.
The unity of Baptism and Confirmation is seen most clearly at the baptism of adults, who are confirmed as soon after receiving baptism as possible (ideally this occurs in the same liturgy).
SIXTH GRADE CONFIRMATION
The sixth grade year serves as the time when students are prepared for Confirmation in what we call New Beginnings Parts 1 & 2. If a student has not yet received baptism, they will be encouraged to do so at the Easter Vigil that year, so that they can also receive Confirmation at the spring or fall visitation by the diocesan bishop. For more information, please contact the Rector or the church office.
All adults who desire to be baptized must attend two 4 week courses, "Back to Basics Part 101- The Basics of Church Membership and, Back to Basics 201 - The Basics of Spiritual Growth." These short courses are required for all adults who are seeking Baptism and/or Confirmation.
For more information, please contact the Rector or the church office.