Bishop’s Visit – Sunday, March 26, 2017
Time: 7:45 am
Are You Up for Confirmation?
New administrations cause a flurry of confirmation hearings, and the Church has its own confirmation hearings. The Sacrament (or Rite) of Confirmation is an ancient one, and in the Episcopal Church we understand it as something people can request when they wish to make a mature or renewed commitment to their Christian path. Whereas baptism is initiation into the Christian family of Christ, regardless of the denomination, confirmation is attached to denominations.
This means that you are confirmed as a Roman Catholic, a Greek Orthodox, a Lutheran, an Episcopalian, and so on. So while confirmation is not a necessary step in one’s spiritual life, it is usually a commitment to the denomination as well. For example, when I was being prepared for Confirmation at my Catholic church at the age of 16, my catechism teachers and our priest emphasized that the decision had to be our own choice, not our parents’. And we had “confirmation hearings”—an interview in which we had to explain why we were choosing the Catholic Church.
Decades later, when I believed I was called to be a priest in the Episcopal Church, I needed to be “received” into the Episcopal Church. This is a ritual for people who have been confirmed in another tradition but want to change their denomination officially.
In most cases, the bishop does the laying on of hands for confirmations and receptions, and so we will have the opportunity for confirmations and receptions when Bishop Mathes comes for his official visit at Good Samaritan on March 26.
We also will have openings for baptisms on March 26 as well as at the Easter Vigil on April 15. Baptism is the sacrament that initiates one into Christianity, and it is possible to be baptized and confirmed in one day, assuming the confirmand is old enough to make a mature commitment to Christ.
If you are interested in confirmation, reception, or baptism for you or a loved one, please contact Reverend Janine as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org.