The rite of confirmation was, in the early church, part of the process of baptism. As the church grew and the roles of bishop, priest and deacon became more distinct, and as the baptism of adults gave way to the baptism of children, baptism and confirmation became separated.
In modern times, confirmation has been taken up by those who were baptised as infants but now would like to make a mature confession of faith. In other words, to affirm for themselves those promises made by others on their behalf at their baptism.
As confirmation is an affirmation of one’s own mature faith, 14 years is the usual minimum age. For those who are seeking baptism as an adult, it is appropriate to be both baptised and confirmed at the same service.
Preparation usually involves a series of classes in which the fundamentals of the Christian faith are discussed. Attendance at St James’ for a period would also be expected.
Confirmation occurs once a year at a Sunday Eucharist and is a joyous and festive occasion when the Diocesan Bishop visits to confirm as he lays his hands on the heads of each of the candidates.
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