Confirmed in the Anglican church

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Seeker20, May 25, 2018.

  1. Seeker20

    Seeker20 New Member

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    I was recently offered the opportunity to be confirmed in the Anglican Church. I have been going for four months consistently. I just recently started taking communion.
    I have been confirmed in other denominations (Methodist and Disciples of Christ) and it seems it is always right after I start going they ask me to become a member. I always do; for no other reason than they offer it. The last time I actually had only been going three weeks and they sent out a letter.

    I do like the Anglican church. It is very different from any church I have been to in the past. It seems a lot more focused on God and Jesus. But, since it is very different; should I wait until I know absolutely everything about the Anglican church? The priest asked me to go to a class before church he is teaching and he said if I do; I will know everything I need to. He has been amazing answering all of my questions. I have never had anyone willing to answer so many questions without being annoyed.

    I know I can not be baptized more than once. But, he says the Bishop comes and puts his hands on you to impart the Holy Spirit. Was that not already done with the above mentioned denominations?

    I think this is the right church/parish for me. But, since I have the tendency to church hop. I want to be sure. Should I go a head and do the class and become a member or should I say no; and just attend for a while more. I think it just happens once a year.

    Added information: I have panic attacks in social situations. I don't know if that may be why I am second guessing if I should do this or not. Just walking into the church and the class is a very daunting task.
     
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  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and courage for the road ahead
     
  3. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    Great to hear and welcome!

    A good question to ask the bishop is if you are being received or confirmed in the Anglican faith? For instance, in my confirmation class was a woman who had been baptized/confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church so she was received, not confirmed.
     
  4. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    The Anglican, Roman, and Orthodox understanding of confirmation is different from that of Methodists or North American Lutherans and I have never heard of the Disciples of Christ offering confirmation. Underlying the Anglican understanding of confirmation is a sacramental theology and a particular view of the Apostolic Succession - the idea that Bishops are called to exercise the office of the Keys (Mt. 16:19) in like manner to an apostle. For Lutherans and Methodists, etc. confirmation is something you do: your public affirmation of faith before your congregation. For Anglicans, it is a gift that is given to you as are all the sacraments. One thing that my bishop says when he comes to confirm is that the Spirit is poured out often and in many ways if you are maintaining a relationship with God. But confirmation is a visible sign that you can look back to and recall that you were gifted some power of ministry at one point.

    There are those who don't take confirmation very seriously in Anglican circles. That's unfortunate because all of the sacraments are designed to foster our spiritual health and well-being.
     
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hi Seeker,

    I think it is a very good thing that you taking confirmation so seriously. I was in a similar situation when I came to the Episcopal Church.

    At 11, I was confirmed in the Methodist Church. At 22, I was confirmed, or received rather, into TEC.

    I would first of all say that you recieve the Holy Ghost when you are baptized, not at Confirmation. See the ACNA's catechetical teaching on this:

    At confirmation you make a mature and public confession of faith and receive the bishops laying on of hands as a sign of the strengthening of the Holy Spirit in your lice and ministry.

    Depending on your situation, the bishop may lay hands on you and either the prayer of confirmation, reception, or reaffirmation. The first is for Christians who have been baptized but never confirmed. The second is for Christians who were confirmed in another denomination but now want to be received into the Anglican church. And the third is for Christians who were confirmed but fell out of the faith but now want to return.

    While I suspect the push to get confirmed is logistical as much as spiritual (bishops visits are often limited to once a year), if you dont feel ready, take the time you need. It is not an empty ceremony, so I applaud you for giving it the prayerful consideration it deserves.
     
  6. Seeker20

    Seeker20 New Member

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    You are correct- the Disciples of Christ church was a transfer of membership. The Methodist church was a two year confirmation when I was younger and then a four week confirmation when I was an adult at the same church. Thank you for your explanation. This all seems very complicated.
     
  7. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    I don't know if I have ever been formally baptized or confirmed in any denomination. I seem to recall some relatives and friends baptising me, but it may have been for pretend as a child. I have a certification of an infant dedication and sprinkling my mom did for me, which might count as an infant baptism.

    Also, forgive my ignorance, but what benefit does confirmation into the church provide if being baptised in another denomination allows you to take communion? If I wanted to say I was anglican, can I just say I'm Anglican and it's done?
     
  8. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    XXVII. Of Baptism.
    Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or New-Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed, Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.

    The Baptism of young Children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.​

    The practice of infant baptism is received in the Anglican Church, given that there is a Biblical case to support it and the tradition of the the whole Church. Confirmation is mentioned and not discussed in the Articles, but the logic of the practice is that once a baptised person is of age they might undertake the promises of Baptism in their own voice.

    My advice would be to examine the certification that you have, and make enquiries as to what the practice was with regard to the Church that issued it. Valid baptism according the the ancient authorities requires but two things, (water and the threefold name). If you are in any doubt as to the veracity of your Baptism, I would suggest you take it up with your local Parish Priest. We do not re-baptise people, however were there is a real doubt, there is a practice of a conditional baptism, which is designed to ensure that what needs to be done has been done, and not to deny that which has been done. Very often in Anglican circles adult baptism will be with a Bishop who will confirm at the same time.

    Confirmation was often seen as the right of access to the Holy Communion, however a bit of theology suggest that that may be amiss, as in Baptism we are grafted into Christ, so it should be Baptism that granth us access to the Holy Communion. Confirmation then allows us to speak our own voice and establish sacramentally our direct connection to the Apostolic Tradition of the Church.

    If you have been a member of another tradition and would like to be an Anglican, the normal practice would be to receive you into our tradition, either by Baptism, Confirmation, Baptism and Confirmation, or Reception depending on where you are coming from and what makes the best sense of your position. Anglicans like to do all things decently and in order, however I have no doubt that there are people who do just say Anglican because they have simply been attending an Anglican Church and they feel that is where they belong. I suspect in the end if they are Ok with that, then so am I.

    Baptism is the sign of profession and the mark of difference, and biblically the thing that sacramentally does matter.
     

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