Is Confirmation important?


I keep hearing a lot of different perspectives about the sacrament of Confirmation. Does it really make a difference? Why is it important?
— Tim W., Augusta, GA

Individual Impact
Community Connection
Connecting past to present impacts the future
  Individual Impact
Within the Confirmation ceremony, the bishop asks the candidates to renew the promises their parents made for them at Baptism. He goes over the major points of the Creed and asks the candidates whether they believe in the Fatherhood of God, the Lordship of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit and other teachings of the Church. When the candidates respond, they do so as a group, but inwardly their responses can differ in emotional intensity. Some may reaffirm their faith with all their heart, and they may open themselves up to a deeper and more mature awareness of the Holy Spirit's presence in their lives—a type of spiritual awakening. Others may feel absolutely no change of heart. Most people's experience probably falls somewhere in between.

Community Connection
Confirmation can make a real difference in the lives of young people because it can give you a chance to think about your Baptism and what it means to be a follower of Jesus, a member of a Christian community.

Most likely, you were baptized as an infant and didn't know what was happening. Your parents made promises for you and they, with the community, promised to nurture your faith. Now that you are older, you can affirm your membership in the Church, consider ways you can be active in the Church and say your own "I do" to your baptismal promises.

Connecting past to present impacts the future
Seeing how the practice of Confirmation has differed widely down through the centuries, even falling into long periods of disuse, many wonder why we keep the practice of Confirmation. One obvious answer is that Confirmation is a part of our tradition. By continuing the practice, we show that we accept and continue that heritage. But there is more to it than that. A lot depends on you.

Here are a few suggestions for deciding if being a confirmed Christian will make a difference in your life: 1) Learn more about what it means to be a Christian. Check out the Gospels (Matthew 5—7 is a good place to start) to see what Jesus asks of his followers. 2) Think about your hopes, ambitions, values and ideals. How do these compare with what you learn about living up to Christ's teaching? 3) Decide how you will respond if your vision is different than what Jesus would do or ask you to do. 4) Be practical about any changes you commit yourself to; don't try to change everything at once. If you get discouraged, remember that being a Christian is a lifelong task.
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