Confirmation: March 2017

Our next Confirmation in the Chaplaincy will happen, God willing, on Saturday 25th March AD 2017 when Bishop Robert Innes will visit us in Amersfoort and Utrecht. If you are interested in confirmation for yourself or for your son or daughter, please contact one of our chaplains, David Phillips (06 124 104 31) or Grant Crowe (06 299 723 03), who would be most pleased to speak with you.

Preparing for Confirmation is an opportunity for questioning and learning.  No aspect of the faith is “off-limits” to your enquiry as you prepare for Confirmation. Grant Crowe and David Phillips will share the teaching which will happen in Utrecht or Amersfoort. These are the dates we’ve set aside for the preparation for confirmation (all are on Wednesday nights at 8pm): January 25; February 1, 8, 15; March 8, 15 and 22.

confirmation-poussin-1645Confirmation 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 (e.g. Acts 7.14-17) and in line with the practice of the ancient Western Church.img_0985

Confirmation marks that point in our Christian life when we are prepared to make for ourselves the solemn profession of faith and ‘other centredness’ which our sponsors made for us, if we were baptised as infants. Confirmation is traditionally thought to be the completion of the rite of Christian initiation and thus an appropriate preparation before receiving Holy Communion.

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.

This prayer for the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit (from Isaiah 11:1-2) is in the Book of Common Prayer service for Confirmation:

Almighty and everliving God, who has 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.