Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA)/Pastoral Offices/Confirmation

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Concerning the Service

 

In the course of their Christian development, those baptized at an early age are expected, when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and to receive the laying on of hands by the bishop.

Those baptized as adults, unless baptized with laying on of hands by a bishop, are also expected to make a public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism in the presence of a bishop and to receive the laying on of hands.

When there is no Baptism, the rites of Confirmation, Reception, and the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows are administered in the following form.

If desired, the hymn Gloria in excelsis may be sung immediately after the opening versicles and before the salutation “The Lord be with you.”

The Nicene Creed is not used at this service.

It is appropriate that the oblations of bread and wine be presented by persons newly confirmed.

Confirmation
with forms for Reception and for
the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows

 

A hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.

The people standing, the Bishop says

Bishop Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

In place of the above, from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost

Bishop Alleluia.  Christ is risen.
People The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia.

In Lent and on other penitential occasions

Bishop Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
People His mercy endures for ever.

The Bishop then continues

Bishop There is one Body and one Spirit;
People There is one hope in God’s call to us;
Bishop One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism;
People One God and Father of all.
Bishop The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Bishop Let us pray.
 

The Collect of the Day

PeopleAmen.

At the principal service on a Sunday or other feast, the Collect and Lessons are properly those of the Day.  At the discretion of the bishop, however, the Collect (page 203 or 254) and one or more of the Lessons provided “At Confirmation” (page 929) may be substituted.

 

The Lessons

The people sit.  One or two Lessons, as appointed, are read, the Reader first saying

A Reading (Lesson) from ____________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Reading the Reader may say

The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.

or the Reader may sayHere ends the Reading (Epistle).

Silence may follow.

A Psalm, hymn, or anthem may follow each Reading.

Then, all standing, the Deacon or a Priest reads the Gospel, first saying

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to ____________.
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After the Gospel, the Reader says

The Gospel of the Lord.
People Praise to you, Lord Christ.
 

The Sermon

 

Presentation and Examination
of the Candidates

 

The Bishop says

The Candidate(s) will now be presented.

Presenters I present these persons for Confirmation.
or I present these persons to be received into this Communion.
or I present these persons who desire to reaffirm their baptismal vows.

The Bishop asks the candidates

Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil?

CandidateI do.

Bishop

Do you renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?

Candidate

I do, and with God’s grace I will follow him as my Savior and Lord.

After all have been presented, the Bishop addresses the congregation, saying

Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?

People We will.

The Bishop then says these or similar words

Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ and renew our own baptismal covenant.

 

The Baptismal Covenant

 
Bishop Do you believe in God the Father?
People I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
Bishop Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
Bishop Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Bishop Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
People I will, with God’s help.
Bishop Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People I will, with God’s help.
Bishop Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
People I will, with God’s help.
Bishop Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People I will, with God’s help.
Bishop Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People I will, with God’s help.
 

Prayers for the Candidates

The Bishop then says to the congregation

Let us now pray for these persons who have renewed their commitment to Christ.

The petitions on pages 305‑306 may be used.

A period of silence follows.

Then the Bishop says

Almighty God, we thank you that by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ you have overcome sin and brought us to yourself, and that by the sealing of your Holy Spirit you have bound us to your service. Renew in these your servants the covenant you made with them at their Baptism. Send them forth in the power of that Spirit to perform the service you set before them; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

For Confirmation

The Bishop lays hands upon each one and says

Strengthen, O Lord, your servant N. with your Holy Spirit; empower him for your service; and sustain him all the days of his life. Amen.

or this

Defend, O Lord, your servant N. with your heavenly grace, that he may continue yours for ever, and daily increase in your Holy Spirit more and more, until he comes to your everlasting kingdom.  Amen.

For Reception

N., we recognize you as a member of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church, and we receive you into the fellowship of this Communion.  God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you.  Amen.

For Reaffirmation

N., may the Holy Spirit, who has begun a good work in you, direct and uphold you in the service of Christ and his kingdom.  Amen.

The Bishop concludes with this prayer

Almighty and everliving God, let your fatherly hand ever be over these your servants; let your Holy Spirit ever be with them; and so lead them in the knowledge and obedience of your Word, that they may serve you in this life, and dwell with you in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Peace is then exchanged

Bishop The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you.

The service then continues with the Prayers of the People or the Offertory of the Eucharist, at which the bishop should be the principal celebrant.

If there is no celebration of the Eucharist, the service continues with the Lord’s Prayer and such other devotions as the bishop may direct.

The bishop may consecrate oil of Chrism for use at Baptism, using the prayer on page 307.