In the Episcopal Church, “Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the Kingdom of God. (Book of Common Prayer, BCP, p. 858).” “Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble. (BCP p. 298).” “Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in The Baptismal Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God (BCP p. 858).”
What is “Confirmation” in the Episcopal Church? Confirmation is a sacramental rite in which candidates “express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop” (BCP, p. 860). “In the course of their Christian development, those baptized at an early age are expected, when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and to receive the laying on of hands by a bishop (BCP p. 412).”
What is “Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows”? Baptized persons who have returned from a time of religious inactivity to an active practice of faith may publicly reaffirm their baptismal vows. Others who have experienced a renewal of faith or desire to renew their Christian commitment may also reaffirm their baptismal vows. Reaffirmation may be repeated.
What is “Reception” into the Episcopal Church? Those who have already made a mature Christian commitment in another denomination are recognized as members of the one holy catholic and apostolic church, and received into the fellowship of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
“Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation are rooted in The Baptismal Covenant. Preparation for Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation should help the candidates discover the meaning of Christian commitment in their lives, and explore ways that their Christian commitment can be lived.” Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation may be combined in one service with a bishop present.
We ask all in our Advent family to consider whether family members or friends are interested in being baptized as youth or adults? Whether there are baptized persons desiring confirmation? Whether there are folks who want to reaffirm their baptismal vows? And whether there are people who wish to be received into the Episcopal Church? Formal preparation is required of candidates for confirmation. Parents, godparents, and sponsors of those being baptized and others reaffirming and being received may also choose to participate in such preparation. Therefore, please pray about possible candidates and call JoAnn in the church office (440-871-6685) and inform her of their names. Preparation session topics will include The Baptismal Covenant, Holy Eucharist, The Lord’s Prayer, The Ten Commandments, The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed, forms of prayer, and discipleship. Dates and times of sessions will be arranged to accommodate participant schedules. All are welcome to join us!