Confirmation

This service is the opportunity to confirm the promises made for us by our Godparents and for the Bishop to lay hands upon the candidate to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide them in their journey of faith. You can be confirmed at any age but usually after about 11 years old. Usually we hold some group discussions to explore and discuss the Christian faith, and what it means to be a Christian. These groups come together when there is a demand.

We have a tradition of people being confirmed from as young as 9 (unusual) to 90 and would love to help you explore this more so do be in touch.

Sometimes confirmation is confused with ‘Receiving Holy Communion’. That is because for a while most people were confirmed and had their first communion at the same time. Nowadays and certainly at St Michael’s we generally encourage people to receive communion when they and or their parents are ready. The Bishop says that as long as someone is understanding something of the significance of Communion then they are welcome to receive. That is why you may see young children receive the bread when they receive their blessing alongside their parents. As a member of the church 9 through our baptism) we are invited to the Lord’s table when ever we are ready.  

If you would like to know more about Receiving Holy Communion or confirmation please do be in touch.

Do we add the following: Using words based on Isaiah 11:2, the bishop leads the people in praying for the Holy Spirit to rest upon those being confirmed and then says:

God has called you by name and made you his own.’

‘Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit.’Amen.

‘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.’

discipleship and the candidates may also be anointed with oil as an additional sign of their anointing by the Holy Spirit.

The text of the Confirmation services are available on http://www.cofe.anglican.org

  1. The Age of confirmation

Anyone may be confirmed who has been baptised, who is old enough to answer responsibly for themselves, and who has received appropriate preparation. In the Church of England it has been traditional for people to be confirmed in their early teens, but there is no set age for confirmation. In many dioceses, however, the diocesan bishop has set a minimum age for Confirmation. If this is the case your parish priest will be able to tell you what the minimum age is

2. Preparation for confirmation

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. In The Book of Common Prayer it is envisaged that this preparation will take the form of learning by heart the Apostles Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and The Book of Common Prayer Catechism. Today a more comprehensive course of preparation is felt to be appropriate. As in the case of baptism preparation, the form that this preparation takes will vary according to the practice of the church or cathedral concerned and the particular needs and circumstances of the confirmation candidates.

3. Where confirmation takes place

Many people are confirmed in the church or cathedral that they normally attend. However, people may also be confirmed in another church in a service in which candidates from a number of different churches are combined together, and some children and young people are confirmed at their school.

4. Confirmation and Holy Communion

According to the Canons (laws) of the Church of England those who receive Holy Communion in the Church of England should either have been confirmed in the Church of England or should be ready and desire to be confirmed. However, as has already been explained, there is an exception to this requirement in the case of children who are admitted to Communion prior to confirmation in the context of an agreed diocesan and parochial policy that this should be the case.

Those who are baptised communicant members in good standing of other churches are also welcome to receive Holy Communion in the Church of England with the understanding that if they continue doing so indefinitely then they should be made aware of the normal requirements for reception.

It is normal for Confirmation to be followed straight away by Holy Communion, although in cases where confirmation has not taken place in a candidate’s parish church they may instead take Communion for the first time in that church on the following Sunday

5. Confirmation and holding office in 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

6. Confirmation in another Christian tradition

The Canons also 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.

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 and using chrism blessed by the bishop, do not need to be confirmed. They are simply received into the Church of England instead.
 

7. Joint Confirmation

Joint confirmation is the practice which takes place in many, but not all, dioceses of holding joint services of Confirmation in which candidates from Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs) are confirmed by ministers of the different churches to which the LEPs concerned belong.

The reason for this practice is that since candidates for Confirmation who belong to a single Christian church are confirmed within that tradition by an appropriate minister from that tradition, it is therefore right that candidates for Confirmation who identify with more than one church because of their having come to faith in an LEP should be jointly confirmed within all the churches concerned by the appropriate ministers from those churches.

In addition, joint Confirmation also expresses the joint or shared oversight of the LEP by the appropriate ministers of these churches. It is a sign that all the churches involved accept their responsibility for pastoral oversight of that LEP.

As far as the Church of England is concerned joint Confirmation means the holding of a service of Confirmation of the Church of England together with that of one or more other churches which practice Confirmation and accept the Anglican rite. These will normally be the Methodist, United Reformed, Moravian or Lutheran churches. Joint Confirmation with the Roman Catholic Church is not permitted by its Canons.

In a joint Confirmation the confirming minister from the Church of England is always a bishop. In the case of the other churches it is the appropriate minister in terms of their practice. Those who are confirmed in this way are confirmed both in the Church of England and in the other churches involved.