Confirmation in the churches of the Parish
What is Confirmation?
Confirmation, like Baptism, is a sacrament, or an outward sign of an inner spiritual event. Confirmation is meant to strengthen or deepen your relationship with God. It is a popular practice in the Anglican Church where infant baptism is also performed. It enables a baptised person to confirm the promises made on their behalf at baptism. It is also a sign of full membership to the Christian community.
In the service of Confirmation a person receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. A bishop prayes for the candidate to be strengthened in their Spiritual journey, and the gift of the Holy Spirit is conferred through the laying of hands and anointing with oil..
Confirmation can be held at any age but it is intended for those who are old enough to understand the significance of the promises that were made on their behalf at their baptism.
Christians believe Jesus instituted the sacrament or rite of confirmation when he promised to send another counsellor to empower his disciples to bear witness. (John 14:16; John 15:26; John 16:13). The roots of the practice of confirmation are found in the Acts of the Apostles:
Why get confirmed?
Kate Middleton, who was baptised when she was 5 months old was never confirmed. Her husband, Prince William was when he was 14 years old. Before they married, Kate, who was 29 at the time, decided to be confirmed, “because of her own personal journey into faith and not because of the Royal Family’s prominent role in the Church of England nor because of anything to do with the wedding ceremony.”
That is probably the most sound reason to be prepared for confirmation. Faith is a journey, and confirmation is a part of that journey. It is a sign of accepting the reality and power of God at work in your life.
“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”
Preparing for confirmation
Confirmation candidates attend a series of special classes to learn about the sacrament, their faith and Christian responsibilities. Confirmation preparation is important because it helps candidates to have a proper understanding of how to live as a follower of Christ.
Confirmation classes have changed over the years. Your parents or grandparents were probably required to learn a series of questions and answers by heart known as the catechism.
Today's classes are more comprehensive and the particular needs of candidates will be borne in mind.
Where confirmation takes place
Most Christians are confirmed in the church they normally attend. People can also be confirmed in another church where a large group of candidates from different churches come together.
In the Parish of Cowley, Confirmation Services are held each year. If you would like to find out more information please contact the Parish Office. Email [email protected] or call 01865 747 680.