Confirmation is a rite of initiation in Christian churches, normally carried out through anointing, 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 Mitzvah. The early Jewish Reformers instituted a ceremony where young Jews who are older than Bar 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 complicated 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).
In 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 Confirmed: 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 confirmed:
“What is impossible by the nature of things is not confirmed by any law.”
—Marcus Tullius Cicero (10643 B.C.)
“He prayed more deeply for simple selflessness than he had ever prayed beforeand, feeling an uprush of grace in the very intention, shed the night in his heart and called it light. And walking out of the little church he felt confirmed in not only the worth of his whispered prayer but in the realization, as well, that Christ had become man and not some bell-shaped Corinthian column with volutes for veins and a mandala of stone foliage for a heart.”
—Alexander Theroux (b. 1940)
“Our manners have been corrupted by communication with the saints. Our hymn-books resound with a melodious cursing of God and enduring Him forever. One would say that even the prophets and redeemers had rather consoled the fears than confirmed the hopes of man. There is nowhere recorded a simple and irrepressible satisfaction with the gift of life, any memorable praise of God.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)