Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism: to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ in word and deed, to serve all people following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth? I will, and I ask God to help and guide me.
- from the rite of Affirmation of Baptism,
Evangelical Lutheran Worship
Confirmation, or Affirmation of Baptism as it is sometimes called, is generally celebrated with youth in the middle school age range (with some flexibility according to developmental level and interest). Confirmation is not a “graduation” from Sunday School, and certainly not from church. Rather, it is for young people who want to make a commitment to say “Yes!” to and live out the promises God made to them in Baptism by being active, adult members of the congregation.
The class component of Confirmation meets bi-weekly from September to June for two years. The focus is on helping young people take ownership of their faith, ask questions, and develop a deeper bond with the Christian community. Time is spent on a variety of topics including contemporary issues, theology, ethics, the Bible, the Sacraments, and the Catechism.
In addition to weekly classes, the program includes regular, active participation in worship (including attending the services of the “Great Three Days” – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil), community service, and a final faith reflection project.
At the end of their journey, those affirming their baptism through Confirmation will publicly confess their faith with the whole congregation, promise to live in community with the Body of Christ, and receive the laying on of hands and prayer for the Holy Spirit.
Adults who have never been confirmed, or who simply wish to explore their faith on a deeper level are invited into a similar process after which they will re-affirm their baptismal faith at the Easter Vigil.