Please contact our priest if you or your son or daughter are interested in being prepared for Confirmation.
Confirmation is derived from the Latin word confirmare, which means “to strengthen.” Confirmation includes a public profession of the faith which, for those baptised as infants, was confessed by parents and God-parents at baptism. It is also a means of grace, a sacramental gift where the bishop prays while laying hands on each confirmand that he or she may be confirmed or strengthened by the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Anglican Church administers confirmation in response to the example of the Apostles laying their hands on disciples of Christ and praying for the gift of the Spirit (Acts 8.14-17) and New Testament teaching about the sealing or anointing of the Holy Spirit (Heb. 6:2, Eph. 1:13,14, 2 Cor. 1:21).
The following description of Confirmation is from a book of pre-Reformation homilies:
‘In Baptism he was born again spiritually to live, in Confirmation he is made bold to fight. There he received remission of sin, here he receives increase of Grace. In Baptism he was chosen to be God’s son, and an inheritor of His heavenly kingdom: in Confirmation God shall give him His Holy Spirit to be his Mentor, to instruct him and perfect him, that he lose not by his folly that inheritance which he is called unto.’
The gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation mark that point in our Christian life when we are prepared to make for ourselves the solemn profession of faith and ‘other centredness’ which others made for us at our baptism. Confirmation takes place with the “laying on of hands” by the Bishop. Confirmation is traditionally thought to be the completion of the rite of Christian initiation and thus an appropriate preparation before receiving Holy Communion.
On the day that we now celebrate as the feast of Pentecost, Jesus’ disciples had gathered in a room, anxious and fearful, unable to make meaning of the suffering and death of their Lord. The Holy Spirit came to them, changing them from ordinary people who loved God to people who would bring His message of hope and love to a disbelieving world. In Confirmation, that same Spirit enters our lives in this active way. We commit ourselves to a growing, deepening relationship with God, and to the responsibilities that go with it.
Young people should be of an age when they can ponder serious questions about God and the church. They must be willing and able to think about the Holy Communion, not to understand it, but to accept that it is a mystery. For many young people, an age between 11 and 14 often seems right. Others ask to be confirmed as adults, finding in the preparation and the solemn service a time to make a conscious response to God’s calling and gifts. Many have been baptized as infants, but found it takes years to really feel faith “on the inside” and desire Confirmation.
Preparing for Confirmation is an opportunity for questioning and learning. No aspect of the faith is “off-limits” to your sincere and honest enquiry as you prepare for Confirmation. The Chaplain, or fellow Christians who travel the same road, have the same needs and questions as you, will listen and teach as you prepare for Confirmation. Expect to spend some time each week for six to eight weeks as preparation, in a small group or one-on-one. Confirmation by the Bishop takes place at a church somewhere in the Deanery of the Netherlands when he is visiting, and so it is normally along with confirmands from other congregations in the Diocese.
This prayer for the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit (Isaiah 11:1-2) is in the Book of Common Prayer service for Confirmation:
Almighty and everliving God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by Water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given unto them forgiveness of all their sins: Strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace; the spirit of wisdom and understanding; the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength; the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill them, O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear, now and for ever. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer – 1662)
If you are interested in confirmation for yourself or for your son or daughter, please contact our priest who would be most pleased to speak with you.
[text adapted from St George’s Halifax website]
Worship Address: Adventist Church, Boomberglaan 6, Hilversum
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Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalm 127:1,2