In the early church and in the New Testament, becoming a Christian usually involved a single ceremony for adults and perhaps their families; the ceremony involved cleansing and renewal (being baptised in water), and strengthening for the Christian life by receiving God’s Holy Spirit.
Over centuries this unified rite became split into two; Baptism and Confirmation.
Baptism, usually done when a very young baby, was done by the parish priest.
This was then “confirmed”, usually when a young adult, by the laying on of hands and giving of the Holy Spirit by the bishop.
The Confirmation was seen as the young adult making the commitment to follow Christ for themselves which had been made on their behalf at their Baptism when they were babies.
Modern Day Confirmations
Whilst nowadays many people are still baptised as babies, many are not. Now, therefore, often Baptism and Confirmation take place at the same time.
In addition, many people do not take the decision to be confirmed until later in life – this can bring a real richness of experience to the commitment of Confirmation – relating one’s own experience of life to an understanding of the Christian faith and the saving power of Christ.
Confirmations take place in the Andover Deanery at least once per year; if you feel called to confirm your commitment to Jesus Christ in this way, please contact us.