Early Church Practice
The practice of Confirmation is not recorded in Scripture. Nowhere are we
commanded to "confirm" people. However, Jesus, St. Paul, Peter, Moses and so
many others commanded us to grow in the faith (Colossians 2:6-7), "continue
in the things you have learned" (II Timothy 3:15-17), and put one's faith
into practice each day by any means possible (Deuteronomy 6:4ff.).
From the beginnings of the
Christian Church adults and children were baptized and taught the Christian
Faith as Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). At Pentecost, thousands were
baptized in a single day (Acts 2). Scripture records many times when entire
households were baptized. "Households" included not only family members,
but all the families of servants living in her extensive household (Acts
What Is Confirmation?
"Confirmation" is a rite developed by the Church. Lutherans do not hold
it as a sacrament. At confirmation, a baptized person publicly "confirms"
their faith at the Lord's altar. Unbaptized persons are traditionally
baptized at their time of their confirmation.
In every case, confirmation involves some form of instruction. Lutherans
base their confirmation instruction on Luther's Small Catechism. The
oldest catechism still in use, Luther's Small Catechism taught six
essential areas of faith ("chief parts"). These include...
1) How Christians Live (The Ten Commandments)
2) Who God Is (The Apostles' Creed)
3) How To Pray (The Lord's Prayer)
4) How To Forgive And Be Forgiven (The Office Of The Keys
5) What Baptism Is (Holy Baptism)
6) What The Lord's Supper Is And Does (The Lord's Supper)
Lutheran Confirmation Today
There are many ways Lutherans conduct confirmation. Regardless of the
method of instruction, the goal is always to provide a significant base for
a growing faith.
As important as confirmation is, the ritual of
confirmation is not as important as the development of faith which
confirmation strives. Confirmation's goal is to encourage, by God's Word and
Holy Spirit, a growing, dynamic, life-long expression of faith which endures
until we receive the "crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).
Why Do I Have to Go Through Confirmation?
For young people who have been brought up in the church, much of what it
means to be a Christian and to take on the ministry of being a church member is already
You've listened in worship and in religious education classes and have
an idea of why we have church services. You've (hopefully) been in Sunday
School and seen baptisms and come to receive a blessing at the celebration
of the Lord's Supper.
The purpose of Confirmation is to organize all the stuff you've been learning
over the years and fill in a few blanks you may have.
prepares you to make your own public profession
of Christian faith first made at your baptism by
* Confirmation helps Confirmands understand how they fit in the
church and how they are part of the marvelous Body of Christ.
* Confirmation explores God's great love for the world--and for
you--and explains it in a meaningful way.
* Most importantly, Confirmation provides a fundamental
understanding of Christian Faith so that we can attend
Holy Communion and receive it's full benefits (I Cor. 10-11)
Of course, Confirmation is about your becoming a member of the church,
experiencing the joy of serving the Lord's Church, and sharing in
the responsibilities of making the church do what God would have it do.
The Confirmed members of the church you belong to have ministered
together to provide the best confirmation instruction available. At your
confirmation, you become an on-going part of the Church which will confirm
Christians until Jesus comes again.