If confirmation follows an infant baptism it marks the point at which someone is ready to affirm for themselves their commitment to living a life centred on following Christ.
Each person seeking confirmation, the candidate, renews the promises made on their behalf at their baptism and sometimes tells the congregation a little about their journey of faith so far. Then the Bishop will pray and lay hands on the confirmation candidate, asking the Holy Spirit to give them the strength to live as a committed Christian.
When someone is to be confirmed and baptised together the service follows the pattern set by the Baptism of Jesus, which includes the symbols of dying and rising to a new life – the image of being covered in water and then raised out of a river – and the symbol of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
(You might like to look at the Baptisms & Christenings section or read the accounts of Jesus’ Baptism in Matthew Chapter 3, Mark 1, Luke 3 and John 1).
It is usual for a confirmation service to be followed by a service of Holy Communion and candidates will take communion. However, more and more dioceses, including Birmingham Diocese, are allowing parishes to welcome children to communion prior to confirmation.
To read more about Christian initiation and confirmation please visit www.cofe.anglican.org/lifeevents
To discuss your own circumstances please contact your local vicar.