2. Confirmation

What is confirmation?
After making a mature commitment to our baptismal covenant with God we receive the laying on of the bishop’s hands with prayer.

What grace does God give in confirmation?
Confirmation strengthens the work of the Holy Spirit and daily increases the gifts of the Spirit, especially wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, godliness, and fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2–3)

More Information About Confirmation

•     Confirmation takes its place within the process of Christian initiation and therefore presupposes both baptism and instruction in the faith (catechesis).

•     Confirmation is a means of grace: the Holy Spirit is at work, strengthening the candidate to withstand temptation, to follow Christ more ardently, to serve him in the Church and to witness boldly in the world.

•     Confirmation appropriately includes public affirmation of our baptism and renewal of the baptism promises, but it is primarily an act of the Holy Spirit, when a gift or gifts are received, not a human act of witness

•     Confirmation is, however, not necessary for salvation, as baptism normally is—but there are many valuable and necessary gifts (such as knowledge of the Bible, liturgical worship, good pastoral care) that are not strictly necessary for salvation: that does not devalue them.

•     Confirmation is grounded in the example of the Apostles, especially in the Acts (‘after the example of thy holy Apostles’: Book of Common Prayer (1662) confirmation service); the fact that the narratives do not offer a unified and consistent picture of apostolic practice does not negate the importance of this precedent.

•     Confirmation is not closely connected to church membership, in either an ecclesiological or a denominational sense: membership of the Church, the body of Christ, is given in baptism; and it would distort confirmation to identify it with denominational membership.

•     Confirmation is appropriately a precondition of receiving Holy Communion—not in an absolute sense, for canonically it is enough to be [ready and] ‘desirous’ of being confirmed.

~the Rev’d Dr Paul Avis~