“In the course of their Christian development, those baptized at an early age are expected, when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and to receive the laying on of hands by the bishop.”
—The Book of Common Prayer, page 412.
In the early days of Christianity, Baptism was performed only by bishops, but as the Church grew, it became necessary for priests to baptize and then have the Baptism completed, or confirmed, by the bishop at a later date.
Today the Sacrament of Confirmation has a two-fold purpose. For those baptized as infants or children, it provides an opportunity to affirm their baptismal vows as adults. At age 16, they are encouraged to register for our youth Confirmation Class.
For adults, Confirmation is the sacrament through which persons reaffirm their baptismal vows and, by sacrament, deepen their commitment to the Episcopal Church. Once a year, St. Luke’s offers an Inquirer’s Class for both new members, long-time members, and anyone curious. This class, which reviews the faith and practice of our church, serves as preparation for Confirmation.
Persons confirmed in other churches adhering to the Apostolic Succession, in which bishops are consecrated in a continuous line from St. Peter, are not confirmed again but received into our Communion by the bishop. Churches following the Apostolic Succession include the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Moravian, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran churches of Scandinavia.
During the Confirmation liturgy, persons who have been baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church or any member church in the Anglican Communion and desiring to recommit themselves to a life of faith may reaffirm their baptismal vows in front of the bishop.
The Bishop of Atlanta, or one of his assisting bishops, makes a visit to St. Luke’s every spring for the purpose of Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation.
Many newcomers say, “I’m not sure what all this means.” We encourage you to ask one of our clergy and to join our parish as you feel comfortable.