What is confirmation?
Confirmation is a special ceremony that takes place during a worship service, where individuals 'confirm' to the congregation that their personal faith aligns with the beliefs of the congregation. Such individuals confirm that they want their faith and life to be held accountable to the standards of faith and life held by the congregation. The congregation also confirms that these individuals hold the same faith as the congregation, and that they will hold the individual accountable to those standards of faith and life.
Why Would I want confirmation?
Confirmation is one of the key ways our congregation has agreed to walk together in our shared faith and life as God's people in this place. It is a wonderful opportunity to express our faith publicly, to demonstrate the courage of our convictions by letting ourselves be held accountable to each other, and to acknowledge our need for one another as we live out our faith as God's people. Confirmation is an opportunity to receive the public support and encouragement of the entire congregation. It is also one of the primary ways the congregation welcomes individuals into full participation in the worship life of this community, and acknowledges they are well-prepared to receive the Lord's Supper for the forgiveness of their sins.
How do I prepare for confirmation?
We prepare individuals for confirmation through a period of instruction in the basic teachings of the Christian faith, so that individuals fully understand what it is the congregation holds, and can determine whether they in fact agree with the beliefs of the congregation.
For younger people, this instruction ordinarily takes place through a formal four year program for those in grades 5-8. This program focuses on teaching the basic content of the Bible as well as the faith of the Lutheran confessions as summarized in Luther's Small Catechism. Special considerations are made for those with special needs.
For those passed 8th grade, this instruction takes place either individually with the pastor or in classes with other people wanting to learn more about our beliefs. Since people come from widely different backgrounds, what this instruction looks like depends very much on the background of the individuals and may take longer or shorter periods. Ordinarily, it occurs over the course of twelve sessions.