Confirmation

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.

What is the right age for confirmation?

There is no right age for a person to be confirmed. Anyone may be confirmed who has been baptized, if they are old enough to answer responsibly for themselves. As a general rule anyone who is over 10 years old and can answer for themselves could be ready for confirmation but the right time for you might be at any age.

Can I receive communion without being confirmed?

In some dioceses children are admitted to Holy Communion when they reach an age at which they can understand the meaning of the Eucharist or Holy Communion (to the extent that any of us can ever can understand it). This means that some young people will come to confirmation having been participating in Holy Communion while others will receive their first Communion after Confirmation.

I was baptized as a child, why do I need to be confirmed?

If you were baptized as a child, in confirmation, you are confirming the promises your parents made on your behalf at your baptism about your commitment to a journey of faith. In confirming this faith you are becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family. In turn the Church will promise to support and pray for you.

 I’m not a regular churchgoer. Can I still be confirmed?

Confirmation is about becoming a committed member of the local and worldwide Christian family. If you would like to make this commitment then get involved with your local church.

Why Does the Church of England baptize babies and children rather than adults as in some other denominations?

The Church of England baptises children and adults. Usually adults seeking baptism are encouraged to explore a combined baptism and confirmation.

There are four reasons why the Church of England, unlike some other Christian traditions, has retained the practice of infant baptism.

First, infant baptism is a practice that goes back to the very earliest days of the Church and is therefore something that the Church of England does not feel free to discard.

Secondly, the Church of England believes that God’s merciful love, what Christians call God’s ‘grace’, always precedes our human response and enables it. Personal confession of faith following on from and responding to the grace of God received in infant baptism is consistent with this fact.

Thirdly, we read in the gospels that Christ welcomed and blessed those infants that were brought to Him (Mark 10:13-15) and the Church of England believes that infant baptism is a way He continues to do this today.

Fourthly, the Bible as a whole tells us that the children of believers are themselves part of God’s family and therefore The Church of England feels that it is right that they should have the sign of belonging to the family just as Jewish boys in the Old Testament had the sign of circumcision (Genesis 17:9-14, Acts 2:39, 16:31, 1 Corinthians 7:14).

What happens after confirmation?

If you were prepared for confirmation with other candidates, your group may wish to continue journeying in faith together after Confirmation.

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. You should discuss this with your priest.

What does it cost?

A confirmation service is free.

What happens during confirmation classes?

The purpose of confirmation preparation is to ensure that those who are confirmed have a proper understanding of what it means to live as a disciple of Christ within the life of the Church of England. 

Can I be baptized or confirmed again?

You can only be baptized or confirmed once in the Church of England, but there are ways of renewing your Christian commitment publicly as an adult. One of these is the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith – your priest will be able to advise you.

What if I was baptised or confirmed in another denomination?

Those who have been confirmed in a church whose ministerial orders are recognised and accepted by the Church of England and in which confirmation is performed by a bishop, or by a priest acting on the bishop’s behalf, do not need to be confirmed. They are simply received into the Church of England instead. This is a simpler service than confirmation which may be led by the Bishop or the parish priest, saying:

You are here to be received into the communion of the Church of England.

Do you acknowledge the Church of England as part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church?

I do.

Do you accept the teaching, discipline and authority of the Church of England?

I do.

Will you take part with us in worship and mission?

I will.

The president takes the hand of each person to be received, saying

(Name), we recognize you as a member of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church; and we receive you into the communion of the Church of England, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

However the Canons lay down that Christians from churches in which confirmation is not performed by a bishop need to be confirmed by a bishop if they wish formally to be admitted into the Church of England.

Do I need to be confirmed to work for the Church of England?

The Canons lay down that those who wish to exercise certain leadership roles in the Church of England, including ordained ministers, readers and licensed lay workers need to be confirmed as a sign of their commitment to living as disciples of Christ as the Church of England understands it

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