This weekend eight people will be Confirmed by Bishop Godfrey at a service on Sunday evening starting at 7pm. On Friday, January 7th 2011, a further six people will be Confirmed. In preparing for Confirmation each candidate has had to reflect on who, or what, they think God is; Appreciate that the wisdom writing of our faith was first written in Hebrew and Greek before being translated into English; explore what is known about Jesus and think about what they believe; think about what is meant by the term 'Holy Spirit'; reflect on what prayer is, read the prayers of others, and write their own prayer; and discuss the promises that are made in Confirmation.
There will be no exam - although each candidate is writing a letter to the Bishop to explain why they want to be Confirmed! One person said that they wanted to be Confirmed so that she could think of herself as a full member of the Anglican Church. Another said that it was difficult to put into words but seemed the right thing to do at this stage of life and faith journey.
For those of us who have been Baptised and Confirmed for a long time there is the opportunity to reflect upon and possibly renew our vows: I turn to Christ; I repent of my sins; I reject selfish living and all that is false and unjust; I renounce evil.
With a few more weeks I would have encouraged the Confirmation Candidates to read the main Creeds of faith written by others and then encouraged them to write their own. But saying 'I believe' is only part of the story? The step after this would surely be to work with the Candidates to write some personal Covenants. Maybe some post-Confirmation study is in order?
Here is a confirmation affirmation we are using as a focus this week:
The Cross – we shall take it!
The Bread – we shall break it!
The Pain – we shall bear it!
The Joy – we shall share it!
The Love – we shall give it!
The Light – we shall show it!
The Darkness – we shall defeat it!
The Gospel – we shall live it!
The Kingdom – we shall build it!