Confirmation is a person’s public affirmation of their commitment to a life with Christ. If it follows infant baptism, it marks the point that the person is ready to confirm themselves the declarations made on their behalf by their parents and Godparents or Sponsors.

In the New Testament we read of the apostles and other church leaders laying their hands on a Christian’s head and praying for them to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This laying of hands is central to the confirmation service today. The person seeking confirmation renews the promises of their baptism, sometimes talks a bit about their faith journey so far, then the Bishop prays and lays his hands on them asking the Holy Spirit to fill them with strength to live their life as a Christian, before annointing them with oils. They then often receive holy communion for the first time.

If someone has not been baptised, they will normally be baptised and confirmed together, so the service combines both.

Confirmation for young people marks the point on the Christian journey at which they affirm for themselves the faith in which they have been baptised. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop. The church also prays the Holy Spirit will give the young person power to live life as a committed disciple of Jesus Christ.

Preparing for confirmation

As they prepare for confirmation it is hoped that young people discover new things about God, the Christian faith, the significance of church, worship and Holy Communion, to grow as a disciple of Jesus and learn and how to serve God and the Church in daily life.

Being confirmed is a significant decision for young people, so it is important that those preparing them for confirmation find the most helpful resources to support young people as they take this step on their journey of faith.

‘Live Life’  is a resource for preparing young people for confirmation produced by the dioceses of Bath and Wells and Bristol for more information contact, the Go Team

Other recommended resources

  • Are You Ready – Preparing Young People to Live Their Confirmation’ by Pete Maidment
  • ‘Faith Confirmed (Preparing for Confirmation)’ by Peter Jackson & Chris Wright
  • ‘Reconnecting with Confirmation’ by Pete Maidment, Susie Mapledoram, and Stephen Lake.Church House Publishing (31 Jan 2011) ISBN-10: 0715142089 ISBN-13: 978-0715142080
  • ‘Living Your Confirmation’ (Putting promises into action) by Pete Maidment and Paul Butler, SPCK Publishing ISBN 9780281064625
  • ‘Youth Emmaus’ by Sue Mayfield, Tim Sledge, Tony Washington & Steve Cottrell. Church House Publishing (2013) ISBN: 9780715143643

If you would like to explore Confirmation, why not speak to someone at your local church. You can find their details on the A Church Near You website.