Confirmation is the formal recognition of a baptised individual's commitment to the Christian faith. It is seen as a key moment in the religious journey after baptism and a time, when, according to the Church of England, one shows the 'intention to live a life of responsible and committed discipleship'.
- Individuals must have been baptised before they can be a candidate for confirmation.
- There is no set age, but it is usual to be confirmed during the early teens.
- Candidates will undergo preparation for confirmation. The detail of this varies from parish to parish, but the general purpose is to ensure that the candidates have an understanding about life as a Christian within the family of the Church.
- Confirmation can take place in the church that the candidate usually attends; it is also usual to be confirmed at a school church.
The Confirmation Service
- There are two types of confirmation service; one in The Book of Common Prayer and one from Common Worship. Today, most confirmations follow the latter.
- Common Worship Confirmation begins with the candidates (those to be confirmed) giving a brief testimony about the guidance they have received in their lives from God.
- The candidates then renounce the devil and all evil; they also affirm their turning to God.
- The priest, candidates and congregation recite the Apostle's Creed. Prayers, based on Isiah 11:2, are then said.
- The priest then addresses each candidate and says, '[Name] God has called you by name and made you his own. Confirm, O Lord, your servant [Name] with your Holy Spirit.' During this, the priest lays his hand on each candidate's head; they acknowledge the words and gesture with a simple 'Amen'.
- The priest and congregation then join in prayer: 'Defend, O Lord, these your servants with your heavenly grace, that they may continue yours for ever, and daily increase in your Holy Spirit more and more until they come to your everlasting kingdom. Amen.'
Confirmation can also be a combined rite with adult baptism.
For further information please see the Church of England website.