Confirmation and Reception Click to see some Confirmation Photos
Those baptized in another denomination will want to receive Confirmation into the Episcopal Church. Those confirmed already in other Christian denominations will want to receive Reception into the Episcopal Church. Both rites involve the laying on of hands and prayers by our bishop.
Reception into the Episcopal Church
Reception into the Episcopal Church is a sacramental rite for baptized Christians who have been confirmed in other denominations by a bishop in apostolic succession (Roman Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or Eastern Orthodox) and wish to be received into the Episcopal Church by the Bishop. Those who have been baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church but for some special reason wish to re-commit themselves to the life of faith may also choose to reaffirm their baptismal covenant with the Bishop.
Confirmation Guidelines and Procedures
The Confirmation program at St. Luke's is designed for youth in the seventh grade and eighth grades, or at least the age of 12, and is taught by the Rector. Classes begin September and continue weekly on Mondays from 6:00 - 6:45 p.m., excluding scheduled holidays, in the Rector's office.
Baptism initiates us into the body of Jesus Christ known as the Church. The intention is to introduce the new Christian into a loving community of believers who take on the responsibility to nurture and guide their faith and worship. One of the prayers at Baptism is for God to give the new Christian "an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage and will to persevere, a spirit to know and love (God), and the gift of joy and wonder in all (God's) works." (BCP pg. 308) Since baptism usually occurs during infancy or early childhood, it becomes important for the new Christians during a later point of maturity to explore the promises made on their behalf and decide whether or not they want to confirm these promises.
The church has developed the sacrament of Confirmation to be the process by which the new Christian decides. It is therefore important that each student wants to be involved in this process at this time. If they wish to pursue this process later in life, that decision must be honored. Keep in mind that the sacrament of Confirmation is not "the second half" of Baptism, but an affirmation of their Baptism, which is a complete sacrament by itself. Finally it is important to note that participation in this process does not obligate the student to be confirmed. They may withdraw at any point, or even decide not to be confirmed at the end of a successfully completed program.
The young Christian will have questions about the faith and promises they seek to affirm. The process by which these questions and issues are raised is the basis of this series of confirmation classes. During the year we will have weekly classes, trips and activities and regular, informal meetings with mentors coordinated to cover important topics related to the faith and worship life within the tradition of the Episcopal Church. It is a large task, but also one that is fulfilling and challenging to those involved. To the student, it opens a new world of faith and ideas. To the mentor it refreshes their faith through the eyes of a seeker and is a form of evangelism, thus fulfilling one of their own Baptismal promises.
Instruction booklets will be provided for the mentors and students at their first meeting. Further instructional materials will be provided as needed during class time. Due to the importance of this process, a commitment is needed to participate fully.
It's an exciting opportunity for each participant to explore and deepen their Christian faith and relationship with God. As the psalmist wrote so many years ago "I was glad when they said to me 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'" (Ps.122:1)
Descriptions of Expectations
Certain expectations make sure that each student gets the most out of this process. Since participation is voluntary a cheerful, cooperating spirit is the first and most important expectation! In addition, each student is expected to attend Monday classes missing no more than four during the year. Trips and activities are planned during the year and they are optional, but why not take advantage of them? Mentors are an important part of this program and each pair needs to schedule at least two visits per month using the workbook as a guide for discussion. Classes are scheduled for Mondays at 6:00 p.m. and will last one hour, see the Class Schedule for details! Bring a Bible to each class and mentor meeting.
You have been chosen as a person whose faith, practice and love of youth will be important in guiding and nurturing the student in their faith inquiry. Your work with them will be rewarding to your own faith as well as theirs! Each mentor is expected to meet with the student at least twice a month at mutually convenient times and follow the workbooks as a guide to conversation. It is hoped that the informal, individual attention will allow the experience of each to benefit the other in articulating and understanding issues of faith and worship. As a group the mentors will meet twice during the year for feedback.
The role of the parents is vital to this process. First, each parent must support their child in this process, and yet allow them the freedom to delay or withdraw if they desire. Your own worship life and discussions about faith will also have an indelible effect on the inquiring process of your child. You might want to use their course as an opportunity to ask them questions and share our views on various topics. Help them to keep this process a priority in the busy schedule that is part of a student's school life. For further information, please contact the Parish Office and click here to read the Episcopal Church website information.