Our catechism describes Confirmation as "the rite in which we express mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying gone of hands of by a bishop." (1979 Book of Common Prayer, p. 860) This is a time when a Christian is ready to say "I am now ready to take responsibility myself for the promises my parents and godparents made for me in my baptism."
Confirmation preparation for teens occurs during Church School in a two year cycle, with year one focusing on Scripture, and year two focusing the Episcopal/Anglican tradition. Students are normally in the 7th and 8th grades for these years. Older teens who have not been confirmed may choose to participate in this formation process, or in an adult preparation program. Adults seeking Confirmation or Reception into the Episcopal Church will complete a separate process designed for them.
Our confirmation program includes classroom lessons, group "priest-chats", mentoring, and service requirements. We believe that faith is about more than classroom knowledge, but also relationships, and experience so our program values equally each of these elements.
Confirmation is Part of Our Christian Journey
At St. Peter's, we emphasize that Confirmation is not an ending, but rather the beginning of each student's Christian journey. We talk about the shared family and faith traditions that have brought us to this point, and we equip students for the faith roads ahead, by study of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, through family projects designed to promote faith at home, and through a mentoring program that allows each student to forge a one-on-one relationship with a faithful adult. We have embraced the Diocese of New Jersey's vision to Know Your Story, and Live It Boldly, and we encourage each Confirmation family to think about how they can answer this call.
Because Confirmation is a more formal process, we have several criteria as part of our Confirmation Covenant that must be met before Confirmation can occur. Each student must:
- Attend worship services and Confirmation class regularly, participating in class discussions and activities
- Devote at least 20 hours per year (40 hours over two years; more is encouraged) doing ministry work at St. Peter's Church and in the world, including:
- 6 hours per year (12 hours over two years) of worship-related ministries such as serving in choir, as usher, acolyte, lector, greeter, or oblationer.
- 6 hours per year (12 hours over two years) of work in other St. Peter's ministries such as Outreach suppers, Thrift Shop, Funday School, etc.
- 8 hours per year (16 hours over two years) of work in other community service areas
- Participate in four separate faith formation activities. These include attending a worship service other than your family's accustomed time, such as Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Easter Vigil, a Lenten service, a healing service, or an Episcopal service of marriage or burial. Another spiritual formation activity might include a Diocesan event.
- As a 7th grader, attend worship at one other Episcopal church, and as an 8th grader, attend service at one other non-Episcopal Christian church. Click here for the worksheet.
- For 8th graders, meet regularly with your mentor, completing the workbook in a timely manner.
- Complete all home activities, any journal or posting requirements, and document ministry hours.