What is Confirmation?
Confirmation is a special church service in which a person confirms the promises that were made when they were baptized. If you were baptized at a christening when you were a child, your parents and godparents made these promises on your behalf. As a young person or adult, you may be ready to affirm these promises for yourself and commit your life to following Jesus Christ. At a confirmation service, you make these promises for yourself. Your friends and family, as well as the local Christian community, will be there to promise to support and pray for you.
The local bishop will lay their hands on your head and ask God’s Holy Spirit to give you the strength and commitment to live God’s way for the rest of your life.
Congratulations on wanting to explore confirmation with the Church of England! Confirmation can be an important part of a lifetime journey of faith as a follower of Jesus Christ. The first step will be to talk to our Vicar, Mother Sandra, don’t worry she’s very friendly! When you speak to Mother Sandra, she will best advise when as a church we are next doing confirmations.
If yourself and Mother Sandra both feel confirmation is the next step in your faith journey, you would usually be invited to a few meetings to help you get ready for the service. This is a good way to explore your faith with others who are also thinking about confirmation and is a safe place to ask any questions you have about God, Jesus and the journey of faith. Moreover, confirmation classes at St. Leonard’s are aimed to encourage people to grow in their Christian faith through prayer, reflection, studying the Bible, going to church and living out your faith in your community.
HOW CAN I TELL IF I AM READY FOR CONFIRMATION?
If you feel strongly for yourself that confirmation is right for you at this point in your life, it’s likely that it is. Pray about this and ask others in the church to pray for you. Talk to Mother Sandra too, and even if you are unsure about being confirmed, you may wish to participate in the confirmation course to help you think about it.
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 and 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 – you could be in your teens or in your nineties!
I WAS BAPTIZED AS A CHILD, WHY DO I NEED TO BE CONFIRMED?
Confirmation is an important choice. In confirmation, you make the promises your parents made on your behalf at your baptism for yourself, making public your commitment to a journey of faith. It’s a great moment to acknowledge your place in the local and worldwide church. In turn, the church will promise to support and pray for you.
WHAT IF I WASN’T BAPTIZED AS A CHILD?
You will need to be baptized before you are confirmed. If you were not baptized as a child and want to make a commitment of faith, it is possible that you can be baptized and confirmed on the same day. However, it is more likely that you would be baptized at a separate service shortly before your confirmation. You should discuss this Mother Sandra
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 again – namely Affirmation of Baptismal Faith
This service is intended for people who have been baptized and confirmed and who want a formal way of marking either that they have returned to the practice of the Christian faith, or that their faith has become meaningful to them in a new way. For more information please speak to Mother Sandra
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER CONFIRMATION?
After confirmation you continue to go along to church, joining in with worship and prayer and sharing in Holy Communion. If you were part of a group with others getting ready for confirmation, your group may wish to stay in touch afterwards to support each other.