Confirmation is a rite of initiation in Christian churches (although in the Church of England and similar denominations it can be simply viewed as a restating of one's beliefs), normally carried out through anointing and/or the laying on of hands and prayer for the purpose of bestowing the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
There is an analogous ceremony also called Confirmation in the Jewish religion, which is not to be confused with Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The early Jewish Reformers instituted a ceremony where young Jews who are older than Bar/Bat Mitzvah age study both traditional and contemporary sources of Jewish philosophy in order to learn what it means to be Jewish. The age instituted was older than that of Bar Mitzvah because some of these topics were considered too complex for thirteen-year-old minds to grasp. Nowadays, Confirmation has gained widespread adherence among congregations affiliated with the Reform movement, but has not gained as much traction in Conservative and Orthodox Jewish groups. The way Confirmation differs from Bar Mitzvah is that Confirmation is considered a more communal confirmation of one's being Jewish, and Bar Mitzvah is more of a personal confirmation of joining that covenant (see below section about Confirmation in Judaism).
Within Christianity, confirmation is seen as the sealing of the covenant made in Holy Baptism. In some denominations, confirmation also bestows full membership in a local congregation upon the recipient. In others, such as the Roman Catholic Church, confirmation "renders the bond with the Church more perfect", because a baptized person is already a full member.
Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and many Anglicans view Confirmation as a sacrament. In the East it is conferred immediately after baptism. In the West, this practice is followed when adults are baptized, but in the case of infants not in danger of death it is administered, ordinarily by a bishop, only when the child reaches the age of reason or early adolescence. Among those Catholics who practice teen-aged confirmation, the practice may be perceived, secondarily, as a "coming of age" rite.
In Protestant churches, the rite tends to be seen rather as a mature statement of faith by an already baptised person. It is also required by most Protestant denominations for membership in the respective church, in particular for traditional Protestant churches. In traditional Protestant churches (Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran etc.) it is recognized by a coming of age ceremony. Confirmation is not practised in Baptist, Anabaptist and other groups that teach believer's baptism.
Read more about Confirmation: Scriptural Foundation, Roman Catholic View, Orthodox Views, Anglican View, Protestant Views, Latter Day Saint View, Secular Confirmations, Repetition of The Sacrament, Confirmation in Judaism
Famous quotes containing the word confirmation:
“Whenever reality reinforces a childs fantasied dangers, the child will have more difficulty in overcoming them...So, while parents may not regard a spanking as a physical attack or an assault on a childs body, the child may regard it as such, and experience it as a confirmation of his fears that grown-ups under certain circumstances can really hurt you.”
—Selma H. Fraiberg (20th century)
“Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmation strong
As proofs of holy writ.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“The confirmation of Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative voices to be added to the [Supreme] Court in recent memory, carries a sobering message for the African- American community.... As he begins to make his mark upon the lives of African Americans, we must acknowledge that his successful nomination is due in no small measure to the support he received from black Americans.”
—Kimberly Crenshaw (b. 1959)