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  1. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

    +2,237
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    After spending many years in the CofE, I had a chat with my Rector this evening and have made the decision to go forward with confirmation. It's something I meant to do for a long time but never got round to it and kept putting it off.

    After a few years where I drifted somewhat in my faith, I came back to church earlier this year, my faith has been renewed and I feel there is no better time to take this step.

    I would be interested in hearing other's stories on how they came to be confirmed and what the experience was like for them?
     
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  2. Tigger45

    Tigger45 St Francis Supporter

    +7,138
    United States
    Christian
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    US-Constitution
    Praise God, thanks for sharing!
     
  3. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +11,874
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    I was baptised at 22, so I had made a personal commitment and my own promises etc, and my vicar didn't organise for the bishop to be there, so I wasn't confirmed at the same time.

    And I had no idea that that was unusual or considered deficient until I applied for ordination and was told I would have to be confirmed before I could be ordained. So in my first year of theological college I took the opportunity when the college was organising confirmations, (and in fact ended up being the only confirmand there that year).

    I found it odd, to be honest, because it felt like somehow the church was asking me to make my baptismal promises again, as if they hadn't been good enough the first time. And I had to work through why it was necessary for me to do this. In the end I came to a place where I realised I was committing to a church community with a long history and lots of quirks, and in offering to be ordained in it I would need to be willing to work with that history and those quirks rather than fight them at every turn. I might not feel that confirmation was strictly necessary in my case, but it also didn't harm anyone, so it wasn't a fight that needed to happen.

    And in the end it was really lovely; a very small service with a few staff and fellow students of the college coming around to support me in that step of commitment, and the bishop was sensitive to the particularities of my situation and talked in a way that didn't assume I had been baptised as an infant, (in fact he had been at my selection conference the year before, so he already knew my story quite well).

    So a very different sort of experience, I guess, but that's part of the rich variety of Anglicanism!
     
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  4. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

    +2,237
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    Hi Paidiske
    Thanks very much for sharing your experience! Like you, I was baptised as an adult, around the same age (21 years old).

    As I was adopted, I had no way of knowing whether I was baptised as a child. At the time I was baptised I was at university and was regularly attending a pentecostal church with student friends. I chose to be baptised then and it was by full immersion. I also had to make a personal commitment and promises, the same way as you did.

    The years that followed, I found myself more and more drawn back to the Church of England. It was the church I grew up in, where I was taught the faith. I wanted to go somewhere which embraced charismatic styles of worship as well as the liturgy, hymns and styles of worship I remembered from my earlier years. I guess it was where I felt at home. Like you - I enjoy the rich variety.

    In recent years, I had drifted away from church. The Lord and myself weren't really on talking terms. Well, in fact He was talking all the time, but I wasn't listening!

    During Christmas last year, I felt led to return to church. I joined an Anglican Church and have felt for a while that Confirmation should be the next step for me. I felt it was important to strengthen my faith by renewing the promises I made at my baptism, to serve God in His church, not just as a guest or bystander, but as someone who is fully committed to serving in the church. It was also important for me to feel that I belong.

    I have already had a few friends and a family member who have said they will be coming to support and encourage me on the day!
     
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  5. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +1,999
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    I grew up Baptist, so, following Baptist custom, I was not baptized as an infant. Rather, I was baptized when I was 6, after I had made a commitment of my own to Christ. I was young, but old enough to make a genuine commitment, one that I have not turned away from.

    When I decided in my 20s to become Episcopalian, there was a requirement that I be confirmed. That made me uncomfortable, because it seemed as though it was invalidating my baptism. In the Baptist tradition, baptism serves as a public profession of faith, and confirmation seemed to be saying that my prior commitment to Christ wasn't good enough.

    However, I found another way to look at it. During my college years, I came to the realization that the existence of God (probably) cannot be proved, that there is no certainty anywhere in the religious realm -- no inerrant Scripture, no infallible pope, no infallible councils, no complete set of proofs of Christianity's basics, none of it. Very disturbing to a mathematician like myself who craves certainty. So, on the far side of all that, I had to make a decision: Am I going to continue to follow Christianity anyway, despite all of this uncertainty? And I decided, yes. That decision came approximately at the time when I was being asked to go through confirmation, so that's what confirmation came to mean to me: the decision to continue to follow Christ, even though I cannot know whether I am correct. As Lewis put it, I will act as a Narnian even if there is no Narnia.

    That can't be what the ancient church had in mind when they designed confirmation, so many centuries before the Enlightenment, but there it is.

    Confirmation also, of course, marked my formal acceptance into the Episcopal Church, on the last Sunday in Epiphany, 1985, and each year on that day I remember with gratitude the church community who welcomed me all those years ago.
     
  6. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

    +2,237
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    Great to hear from you PloverWing and thanks for sharing. I think my reasons for confirmation may be quite similar to yours? I was already baptised in a church that practiced adult baptism and already had a faith. But I am looking at my confirmation as a way of moving forward with my faith. In recent years my Christian life was a bit of a mess and its my way of upholding the promises I previously made and renewing my commitment.
     
  7. Naomi4Christ

    Naomi4Christ not a nutter Supporter

    +1,196
    Anglican
    Private
    What I like about Confirmations in my fellowship is that they are big celebrations. We typically have 8 - 10 people being confirmed from our fellowship, and others from the wider deanery. Four or five of them will give a testimony, and they might range from 15 to 90 years old. Never a dry eye.

    Teen/adult baptisms are also a big thing. One of my ministries is to prepare the pool, and then all the towels and bath robes. We tend to have three or four being baptised at once when using the pool.

    If we have an infant baptism using the font, it is usually just one family at a time, although still a celebration.

    With Confirmations, there is something special about having the bishop visit, especially our current one who gets in the tank.
     
  8. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

    +2,237
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    Thanks Naomi. It sounds like your confirmation service was a great occasion of celebration and a happy time to remember! I've got a few friends and a family member who said they'd like to cheer me along on the day! I'll have to write back here and let you all know how it went.
     
  9. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    +1,949
    Anglican
    Married
    We had a wonderful day at my church yesterday with about 15 confirmations, 4 received, and 2 reaffirmations. And the church turned out in force for it like it was Christmas or Easter. It's always a joyful time!
     
  10. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

    +2,237
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    Wow 15 confirmations! I've been to services where they've had confirmation but haven't seen as many as those - I bet the church was packed with people!
     
  11. Naomi4Christ

    Naomi4Christ not a nutter Supporter

    +1,196
    Anglican
    Private
    Do you have a date for your confirmation, Anthony? Are you going to give a testimony?

    God bless.
     
  12. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

    +2,237
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    Hi Naomi. I will be confirmed on Sunday 23 June at the local parish church. I know it will be attended by people from various churches across the town and will include a service of Holy Communion. I'm familiar with the order of service, but not exactly sure what will happen on the day. I'm hoping I will be invited to give my testimony at some point, but not sure whether I will be asked to do this on the day? I'll have to ask the vicar when I see him!
     
  13. Naomi4Christ

    Naomi4Christ not a nutter Supporter

    +1,196
    Anglican
    Private
    Is it part of the morning service, or a special service?

    It sounds like a deanery Confirmation, which is fairly typical. The service may include baptisms or reaffirmations, for Confirmation candidates. IME, for the deanery churches who are visiting, they typically have their baptisms/reaffirmations within their own church family.

    The actual confirmation has the bishop lay hands on you and saying a couple of sentences - Christ claims you as his own etc.

    Other than that the service is similar to a full liturgical baptism service.

    Then there’s the Prosecco.
     
  14. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 "Only Me!" Supporter

    +2,237
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    The confirmations will be taking place at another church in the town. It will be in the evening and I'm told will include a service of holy communion with the bishop carrying out the confirmations for individual candidates.
    Prosecco - well that would be nice! :) I'm planning to go out for a nice meal the afternoon before the service.
     
  15. everbecoming2007

    everbecoming2007 Well-Known Member

    +215
    Anglican
    Single
    I was confirmed immediately after baptism in the same service, so my confirmation journey was my baptismal journey. It made more sense to me to wait for the bishop. Why have two services of affirmation of vows as an adult? I still value confirmation as someone who was baptized as an adult because of the particular blessing imparted in the wording of the prayer. I wouldn't have wanted to eliminate it. It didn't cheapen my baptism at all experientially.
     
  16. Shane R

    Shane R Priest

    +521
    United States
    Anglican
    Widowed
    My confirmation was somewhat different. I was a postulant at the time. I had been confirmed in the LCMS, but they lack the apostolic succession and for them confirmation is something the believer does rather than a gift of grace. So, I was down at the Chancery doing the liturgical seminar for Deacons when the bishop perceived that my confirmation was irregular. He confirmed me and tonsured me that weekend.
     
  17. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +11,874
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    It's interesting... here if we had someone coming from another denomination, even if we thought their practices less than ideal, we would generally offer the option of being episcopally received rather than confirmed (and I've heard many people say that they preferred this for themselves, because being required to be re-confirmed they felt was disrespectful to the tradition from which they came).

    But nobody else has mentioned that here; is episcopal reception not so common in other places?
     
  18. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +1,999
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    In the US, as I understand it, it varies a bit by diocese. Anyone confirmed in a church/denomination in apostolic succession (e.g., Catholic) is received rather than confirmed. In some dioceses, people who went through the adult rite of passage in their old denomination -- even if it's not confirmation per se -- will be received rather than confirmed.

    I'm going by my memory of conversations in various dioceses, but my memory is consistent with the policies I see described at Guidelines for Reception and Confirmation for Persons Joining the Episcopal Church and Confirmation .
     
  19. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +1,999
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    I'll add that I would have felt much more comfortable being received rather than confirmed back in 1985, so I'm glad for the new policy.

    I gather that as the Episcopal Church has moved toward seeing baptism as the full rite of Christian initiation, they're taking another look at Confirmation to figure out what it means in a Christian's life, and they haven't entirely figured out what Confirmation should mean now.
     
  20. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +19,912
    Anglican
    Married
    Episcopal episcopal reception is the most common practice, from what I can tell.
     
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