The Rite of Confirmation in the Anglican Church – 4

8. Confirmation and holding office in the Church of England

The Canons lay down that those who wish to exercise certain leadership roles in the Church of England, including ordained ministers, readers and licensed lay workers need to be confirmed as a sign of their commitment to living as disciples of Christ as the Church of England understands it.

9. Confirmation in another Christian tradition

The Canons also lay down that Christians from churches in which confirmation is not performed by a bishop need to be confirmed by a bishop if they wish formally to be admitted into the Church of England.

Those who have been confirmed in a church whose ministerial orders are recognised and accepted by the Church of England and in which confirmation is performed by a bishop, or by a priest acting on the bishop’s behalf and using chrism blessed by the bishop, do not need to be confirmed. They are simply received into the Church of England instead.

10. Joint Confirmation

Joint confirmation is the practice which takes place in many, but not all, dioceses of holding joint services of Confirmation in which candidates from Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs) are confirmed by ministers of the different churches to which the LEPs concerned belong.

The reason for this practice is that since candidates for Confirmation who belong to a single Christian church are confirmed within that tradition by an appropriate minister from that tradition, it is therefore right that candidates for Confirmation who identify with more than one church because of their having come to faith in an LEP should be jointly confirmed within all the churches concerned by the appropriate ministers from those churches.

In addition, joint Confirmation also expresses the joint or shared oversight of the LEP by the appropriate ministers of these churches. It is a sign that all the churches involved accept their responsibility for pastoral oversight of that LEP.

As far as the Church of England is concerned joint Confirmation means the holding of a service of Confirmation of the Church of England together with that of one or more other churches which practice Confirmation and accept the Anglican rite. These will normally be the Methodist, United Reformed, Moravian or Lutheran churches. Joint Confirmation with the Roman Catholic Church is not permitted by its Canons.

In a joint Confirmation the confirming minister from the Church of England is always a bishop. In the case of the other churches it is the appropriate minister in terms of their practice. Those who are confirmed in this way are confirmed both in the Church of England and in the other churches involved.

(Source HERE.)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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