Confirmation Service

As we come before God we are first of all to seek His forgiveness.  Let us therefore confess our sins together :

Most gracious God, we acknowledge that each one of us is a sinner, who has strayed from Your way.  We have sinned against You both in what we have done and in what we have failed to do.  Have mercy on us, most merciful Father.  Forgive us our sins and help us to serve You, not only with our lips, but also with our lives through Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen. 

God’s word assures us that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.  God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ to save it and whoever believes in Him will not be condemned but have everlasting life.  Amen.

Then follows the first reading from the Old Testament beginning :

“Hear the Word of God as it is written in Joshua, chapter 1 verses 1 to 9”.

The Lord commands Joshua

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.  Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west.  No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.  Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go“.

Here ends the first reading from God’s word.

The congregation sings or reads Psalm 1.

1          Blessed is the man

who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly:

nor followed the way of sinners

nor taken his seat amongst the scornful.

2          But his delight is in the law of the Lord:

and on that law he will ponder day and night.

3          He is like a tree planted beside streams of water:

that yields its fruit in due season.

4          Its leaves also shall not wither:

            and look whatever he does it shall prosper.

5             As for the ungodly it is not so with them:

they are like the chaff which the wind scatters.

6             Therefore the ungodly

shall not stand up at the judgment:

nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

7          For the Lord cares for the way of the righteous.

but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Then follows the second reading, from the New Testament, beginning : “Hear the Word of God as it is written in the Apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy, chapter 3, verses 10 to 17” and concluding “Here ends the second reading from God’s word”.

Paul’s Charge to Timothy

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”.

Those to be confirmed stand at the front of the church facing the bishop who says to them :

Bishop: Brothers and sisters, in the presence of God, and of this congregation do you here confirm your repentance from sin, your personal commitment to Christ as Saviour and Lord, and the promises made by you or for you at your baptism, to reject the devil and all his works, the empty display, greed and false values of the world and the sinful desires of the flesh ?

Answer: Yes, I do.

Bishop: Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth ?

Answer: I do believe in Him.

Bishop: Do you believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord ?

Answer: I do.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.  He descended into hell and on the third day He rose again.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Bishop: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit, Christ’s holy universal church, the fellowship of Christians, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting ?

Answer: All this I truly believe.

Bishop: Will you continue in the fellowship and worship of the church, and personal Bible study and prayer ?

Answer: I will, with God’s help.

Bishop: Will you obey God’s holy will and commandments, and serve Him faithfully throughout your life ?

Answer: I will, with God’s help.

Bishop: May Almighty God who has given you the will to do all these things also give you the strength and endurance to perform them and keep you holy and blameless to the coming day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you and He will do it.  Amen.

The minister calls the names of those to be confirmed who kneel before the bishop.  He lays his hand on each and prays :

Defend, Lord, these Your servants with Your heavenly grace, that they may continue Yours for ever, and daily increase in Your Holy Spirit until they come to Your everlasting Kingdom.  Amen. 

Bishop: Let us pray the Lords prayer together.

Bishop: Almighty and ever living God, we pray for these Your servants, upon whom, after the example of the Apostles, we now have laid hands to assure them of Your love for them. May Your fatherly hand always protect and shield them.  May Your Holy Spirit always be with them, and lead them into all truth in obedience to Your word.  Grant that they may grow in the faith and knowledge of Christ, and to continue His loyal followers and servants to their lives’ end.  Amen.