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Holy Confirmation at
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 Communion.

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 Baptism.

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 Confirmation?
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 Confirmation?
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 better.

What great inducement to Confirmation does the Saviour hold out?
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 Confirmation?
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.