From The Very Rev. Kristina Maulden

Beginning on Sunday, October 2nd, the Cathedral will offer confirmation classes to both youth and adults. Classes will begin at 12:30pm. Some of the topics to be covered include Church History, Prayer Book literacy, the Bible, the Creeds and Church Polity. The final class will be held on Sunday, December 8th. Lunch will be provided.

What is Confirmation? It is the sacramental rite in which the candidates “express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop” (BCP, p. 860). Those who were baptized at an early age and those baptized as adults without laying on of hands by a bishop are expected to make a mature public affirmation of their faith, recommit themselves to the responsibilities of their baptism, and receive laying on of hands by a bishop (BCP, p. 412). Adults baptized with the laying on of hands by a bishop are considered to be confirmed.

In the Episcopal Church, you are considered a baptized member if the church you attend has a record of that baptism. You do not have to be baptized within the Episcopal denomination. The Episcopal Church regards as authentic anyone who has been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No one needs to be re-baptized. However, canonically, it is expected that all adult members of the Episcopal Church will be confirmed or received at some point.

Should I be confirmed or received?  If you were confirmed in a different tradition with the laying-on of hands by a Bishop in apostolic succession, you are not re-confirmed in the Episcopal Church. Rather, you are received by the Bishop into this Episcopal branch of the Christian faith.

What is “apostolic succession?”  Apostolic succession is the belief that bishops are the successors to the apostles and that episcopal authority is derived from the apostles by an unbroken succession in the ministry. This authority is specifically derived through the laying on of hands for the ordination of bishops in lineal sequence from the apostles, through their performing the ministry of the apostles, and through their succession in episcopal sees traced back to the apostles. (glossary found on www.episcopalchurch.org)  According to the canons of the church, “Bishops in apostolic succession” includes the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and the Polish National Catholic Church.  In 2003, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America was added to the list as well.

If you are interested in being confirmed or received, or if you would like to reaffirm the commitment you made at confirmation, email the Dean at [email protected] to register for Confirmation Classes. Our diocesan bishop, The Rt. Rev. Michael Hunn, will be at the Cathedral on January 19, 2020. We will present our candidates for confirmation and reception on that day.