Confirmation is a positive point on the journey of faith where an individual affirms for themselves the faith into which they have been baptised and their intention to live a life of committed discipleship.
This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop. The Church also asks God to give the candidate power through the Holy Spirit to enable them to live in the way of Jesus. For those who do not yet receive Communion, this becomes the point at which they receive the bread and wine for the first time.
In this Diocese, candidates are usually confirmed once they reach high school age, in a celebration service with candidates from several churches. Quite often adults are also confirmed at the same service.
Children and Holy Communion (also known as Eucharist, Mass)
In 2006 the Church of England General Synod made the decision to formalise the way in which children were enabled to recieve Holy Communion before Confirmation – it is done with the Bishop’s consent, and after preparation appropriate to their age, and a certificate of admittance to Holy Communion is given. Once a child has been admitted formally into Holy Communion, they cannot be refused in any Church of England Church.
Children are welcome to be prepared for Holy Communion prior to Confirmation in both St Marys and St Francis, and children in St Francis who do not yet receive Holy Communion are given a candle to light as a sign of their prayers.