Confirmation is an important step for every Christian who was baptised as an infant. We aim to hold a confirmation service each year at St Jude’s, usually in September.
If you were baptised as an infant, then your sponsors (parents and godparents) stated on your behalf that you would turn from your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus. (These are the conditions for baptism.) Part of the deal with infant baptism is that, when the child is grown up, they get to decide for themselves whether they own those baptismal promises. In confirmation, a person agrees with their baptismal promises by publicly declaring their allegiance to Christ.
Confirmation is a logical and essential tradition for every infant-baptising church. (Obviously, in church traditions which do not practice infant baptism, confirmation is not necessary.) We should never forget that Anglicans also baptise adults. This is a joyful necessity every time a person becomes a Christian having not been baptised an infant!! In this case, we are happy to confirm them also, even though it is not logically necessary!
In our tradition, confirmation can only be performed by a bishop. As to the age for confirmation, the Prayer Book only states the general principle, that it is for “those able to answer for themselves”. In practice, we say it is for anyone aged 14 or over who understands what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, and who has decided that they want to live that way.
Another long-standing Anglican tradition is that receiving holy communion is a privilege reserved for those who have been confirmed. We hold to this practice, with one important exception. If you are an adult Christian who is intending to get confirmed, you are welcome to receive communion. In fact, the main condition for receiving the Lord’s Supper, whether you are confirmed or not, is that you are in fact a disciple of Christ right now. In other words, you must be depending on Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, and intending to lead the new life under Jesus’ lordship.
Perhaps you are an adult Christian who has never been confirmed, or even baptised. I would like to encourage you strongly to consider being confirmed. How encouraging it would be to see a range of people from young to old standing up at our next confirmation service to declare their faith in Jesus Christ. The first step would be to talk to a ministry staff member, or contact the church office, about when the next confirmation class will be held.