Confirmation is a service in which you renew your baptismal vows from a more adult and independent perspective, this publically acknowledging your intention to live a Christian life.
If you have reached a point in your relationship with God where you wish to make a definite commitment in this way then you may like to attend our Confirmation classes. These offer an ideal way to explore your faith with others who are at a similar stage as well as a safe opportunity to ask anything about God, Jesus and the journey of faith. These are usually held on an weekday evening for a series of six sessions before the service. If you would like to find outmore about them please contact the office by phone or email.
In the meantime the information below has been adapted form the church of Englad website.
What happens during the service
Your confirmation will be led by the bishop. It may take place here at St Mary’s during the main Sunday service or at a special service, or we may join with other candidates from our diocese at another church or in Southwark cathedral.
There may be a rehearsal before the confirmation service so that you understand everything that happens in the service. The priest will make sure you know where to sit and when you need to move. Some parts of the service will be for the whole congregation to join in; some will be for just you and the other confirmation candidates to say.
Most of the confirmation service will normally take place at the front of the church, but for the renewal of baptism promises, candidates may be asked by the bishop to gather around the font.
The bishop will speak to every candidate by name saying:
(name), God has called you by name and made you his own.
He then lays his hand of the head of each saying:
Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit.
The Church of England has two authorized confirmation services. One is taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and is in 17th century English. Most confirmations use a service in contemporary English, taken from Common Worship (2000).
Read the text of the Common Worship service.
Making decisions and promises
When you were baptized as a child, your parents and godparents were asked to declare publicly on your behalf that they believed in God and that they would bring you up to follow Jesus. They were asked to answer, on your behalf, that you had decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and instead to turn towards Christ. At confirmation, you will renew these decisions and promises.
The declarations made by you will be made in front of the church congregation; the local Christian community will promise to support you and pray for you.
The sign of the cross
The bishop will make the sign of the cross on your forehead with oil. This is a sign of the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit. It is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.
The role of sponsors
At Baptism, Godparents stood alongside your parents to make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptized. At confirmation you may be asked if you would like a sponsor to stand with you as a symbol of their journeying with you in faith. Usually this is someone who has previously been confirmed. It may be one of the people who has prepared you for confirmation or it may be a youth worker, a good friend, a relative, or a Godparent.
It is normal for Confirmation to be followed straight away by Holy Communion.
Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptized and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop. The Church also asks God to give you power through the Holy Spirit to enable you to live in the way of Jesus.
(adapted from churchofengland.org)