After reading this material, please fill in the form on this page to register for Confirmation.
According to the Book of Common Prayer, “In the course of their Christian development, those baptized at an early age are expected, when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of the Baptism and to receive the laying on of hand by the bishop.” (Book of Common Prayer, 412).
Some might call confirmation a sacrament of maturity. (Charles P. Price and Louis Weil, Liturgy for Living, (Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, PA, 2000), 82)
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church holds a strong commitment to preparation of candidates for confirmation. The preparation is spread out over the months of January through May. Individuals participate in formation classes, field trips, Holy Eucharist, and more. Unlike other faith formation classes at St. Matthew’s, confirmation begins with a specific end in mind. Like other faith formation classes at St. Matthew’s, confirmation is one point on the long journey of faith that begins at birth and lasts a lifetime.
After completing classes, individuals attend a half-day retreat that occurs off-site. The retreat is specially designed to set aside the space and time for individuals to discern God’s call toward confirmation when the Bishop comes.
Participants in confirmation can expect to gain a basic understanding of the Christian faith and its manifestation in the Episcopal Church. Beyond knowledge, participants can expect to create lasting relationships with their classmates, sponsors, teachers, and invited speakers. Since confirmation is just one stop on the faith journey, participants can expect to continue faith formation through weekly participation in the Eucharist, regular time in small group study and fellowship, and service to others.
A registration fee of $30 covers the needed materials including:
- Bible (NRSV, with name inscribed)
- Book of Common Prayer
- Classroom Supplies
A separate fee of $20 is due the day of the confirmation retreat. This covers the cost of a catered meal and retreat activity supplies.
The Role of Sponsors
Sponsors support those planning to be confirmed (“confirmands”) in an especially important way. Beyond the support of parents, peers, and church members, sponsors offer a safe sounding board for confirmand questions. Sponsors are selected by the Rector and Director of Ministry and matched with confirmands before the third session of confirmation.
Sponsors are expected to complete the “Safeguarding God’s Children” training module prior to beginning their relationship with a confirmand. Confirmands and sponsors are expected to meet outside of class time at least once monthly for a total of 4 meetings. Sponsors are to selected based upon the following criteria:
- Spiritual maturity
- Strong ability to engage in a healthy and meaningful relationship
- Demonstrated love of God and the church
What’s expected of those seeking confirmation
Confirmands can expect to:
- Show deepening awareness of the expressions of Christian faith on those topics presented.
- Claim their faith as a personal and outward expression of an inward conviction and belief—able to articulate their own emerging thoughts on faith.
- Reflect critically on God, the Church, and the intersection of faith and daily life.
- Identify for future study and reflection issues and concerns within the Christian faith in which their own positions are yet resolved or settled.
Expectations of confirmands are best summarized in one word: ATTEND. Participation in the many activities of confirmation is essential for many reasons. Faith formation occurs best in community. Lesson information should be completed at home if a class if missed. It is the responsibility of the confirmand to obtain missed classwork and submit it the next week.
We ask that confirmands avoid absences if at all possible. The duration of confirmation is such that even two absences significantly impact the preparation of the confirmand. Sponsors also count on the presence of their confirmand. In the event of an absence, please notify the teacher(s) as soon as possible and make arrangements to meet up separately.
- Attend class.
- Attend Sunday Eucharist.
- Complete assigned work.
- Attend field trips.
- Attend 1⁄2 day retreat.
- Reflect and participate actively.
Confirmation is one aspect of Christian life. Seek and participate in others. St. Matthew’s is an active parish. See the church website for a calendar of opportunities to engage.