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Saint Luke's Church
The Ministration of Holy Confirmation
Holy Confirmation (Laying on of Hands upon Those that are
Baptized, and come to Years of Discretion) is scheduled quarterly
throughout the year, and takes place at the Sunday Mass. When
contemplating the Sacrament of Holy Confirmation, it is good
to examine the rite, as contained in the 1928 Book of Common
Prayer, beginning on page 296. If you do not have a copy
available, one can be purchased HERE,
or a PDF of both the rite of Confirmation and the Offices of
Instruction can be download at the following URL:
If you are a member of Saint Luke's talk with the Bishop about
the necessary preparation, and know that we use the following
two books as a basis for preparation: Frank Wilson's Faith
and Practice and Vernon Staley's Catholic
Religion - A Manual of Instruction for Members of the Anglican
If you are a member of the Anglican Diocese of Arizona, consult with your parish clergy.
In all cases, a person to receive Holy Confirmation must be
presented to the Bishop by their clergyman (or a representative
their clergy) and certified as being properly prepared to receive
the Sacrament, by completing all the necessary studies as outline
in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
The following is offered as an introductory explanation of
what the Church believes about the Sacrament of Holy Confirmation.
The italicized questions and answers that follow are taken from
an old classic book entitled "THE PRAYER BOOK - REASON WHY"
by the Rev. Nelson R. Boss. (Note: the reader should have a copy
of the service in your hands while you read the following.)
(prayer Book, pages 296-299)
To whom is Confirmation to be administered?
To such as have been baptized and have come to years
of discretion. (See title at the beginning of this office.)
Who only are to be admitted to Confirmation?
Only such as can answer the questions contained in the Catechism
and are willing to renew and ratify the promises made at their
What is the meaning of the word "Confirm"?
To make strong.
Who are the two parties engaged in Confirmation?
God and the person confirmed.
What does the person confirmed ratify and strengthen?
His baptismal promises.
When does he do this?
When he answers the Bishop's first question.
What is the purpose of the Bishop's second question?
To remind the person confirmed that his relation to our Lord
is individual and personal, as well as corporate and official.
What does God do?
He strengthens the faith and moral purpose of the person
confirmed, giving him additional means and assurances of grace.
Who acts as God's agent in Confirmation?
The Bishop. By praying that God will give to these baptized
persons the grace of the Holy Spirit and by laying his hands
on the head of each one.
Why may no one but a Bishop administer Confirmations?
Because it is a function belonging to the Apostolic office
alone (Acts 8: 12-18).
What mistake do people often make respecting the matter of
They look upon it as joining the Church.
Why is this view not correct?
Because we were made members of the Church when we were baptized;
and as Baptism is our new birth into the Kingdom of Christ, it
can never be repeated. In other words, a person once a member
of the Church is always a member (unless excommunicated), and
therefore can never "Join" a second time.
Do persons in Confirmation assume any new responsibility or
obligation which did not rest on them before?
No; they simply accept and ratify and confirm openly before
the Church the obligation that rested on them before.
What common excuse do people often make for not coming to
The excuse that they "do not feel good enough."
Is this a sufficient reason to excuse them?
No. It is rather a reason why they should be confirmed. The
question is not how we feel, but do we desire the gift of the
Holy Spirit to help us to live godly lives. If we are honest
in our desire to do God's will and to be better than we are,
we should use the means which God here provides for making us
What great inducement to Confirmation does the Saviour hold
St. Matt. 10: 32,33.
Is Confirmation a recent ordinance of the Church?
No; it is a custom and ordinance which has come down to us
from the days of the Apostles.
Where do you learn that the Apostles themselves administered
Acts 8: 14-17 and 19:6.
How does the New Testament speak of it in Heb. 6:2?
As one of the first principles or rudiments of Christian
doctrine, and therefore cannot be regarded as anything else than
a matter of grave importance.
What does the rubric say at the end of the Confirmation office?
That none shall be admitted to Holy Communion till he has
been confirmed or is ready and willing to be confirmed.
How then may we regard Confirmation?
As the door admitting us to the Lord's Supper, which is the
highest privilege and duty of every Christian believer.