Presbyterian Confirmation

Presbyterian Confirmation

The Presbyterian Church founded by John Calvin in 1536 A.D. practices baptism, Holy Communion by baptized members and confirmation.  The Presbyterian Church teaches 'grace through faith, regeneration of the Holy Spirit and Sanctification of the Redeemed and Regenerate' beginning with infant baptism.
           
The early history of the church states that adult converts were baptized to demonstrate their faith while infants were baptized to signify their parents' intent to raise them within the church.  In accordance with the Acts of the Apostles and Pentecost Sunday, the early Presbyterians were questionable of the practice of laying hands on an infant.  So they adopted a separate ritual to be practiced when the person was old enough to understand and answer questions about their faith.  The ritual eventually called 'confirmation' was conducted by a bishop whose authority was believed passed on to him by one of the Apostles.  After the reformation period of the 15-1600's the Presbyterian Church in the United States took on the belief that the passing of the Holy Spirit was a work of God not necessarily an action specific to a clergy person.  The ritual of confirmation in the Presbyterian Church became less important than learning, understanding and believing. 
           
Today the act of confirmation in the Presbyterian Churches of the United States is more about what one believes and how one will minister within the church.  Baptize children are nurtured and educated until they wish to make their personal profession of faith.  After an examination by 'the session' if the session receives them as active members they are presented to the congregation during public worship service.  During this special public worship they are confirmed in their baptismal identity and reaffirm the vows taken form them at Baptism.  Those vows being to profess their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; to renounce evil and reaffirming their reliance upon God's grace; and to declare their intention to participate actively and responsible within the worship and mission of the church.  After they are commissioned for full participation and governance of the church they are welcomed by the congregation.
           

Presbyterian Church confirmation, then, is about becoming a member of the church and taking on the responsibilities of making the church work as God wills. 

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