Vocabulary —Confirmation

At Mount Olive Luther­an Church we offer class­es for chil­dren in mid­dle school that lead up to their being con­firmed into mem­ber­ship in our con­gre­ga­tion.

On Con­fir­ma­tion Sun­day we hold a spe­cial cer­e­mo­ny. 

Silhouette of pastor laying hands on confirmand and the word "Confirmation"

Rite of Confirmation

CONFIRMATION:  A brief expla­na­tion of the

sym­bol­ism con­nect­ed with the Luther­an Rite of

Con­fir­ma­tion.

A flame with the words "Confirmation Sunday"

THE PROCESSION — Every con­fir­mand should real­ize that his walk­ing down the aisle at the begin­ning of the ser­vice is a sym­bol. It is not an ordi­nary walk­ing into an ordi­nary build­ing. The prop­er­ly trained con­fir­mand indi­cates this by the way he walks; with mea­sured step, seri­ous face, and solemn heart. It is an entrance into God’s house and approach to God’s altar; a com­ing into God’s infi­nite­ly holy pres­ence.

A long row of simple green and yellow flowers.

THE FLOWERS NEAR THE HEART – There is an impor­tance con­nect­ed with the flow­ers which the con­fir­mand wears near the heart. The Bible speaks of Jesus Christ as a flower. For exam­ple, in one pas­sage (The Song of Solomon 2:1) Christ says of Him­self: “I am a rose of Sharon, a Lily of the val­leys.” Those flow­ers, then, rep­re­sent Christ. And the fact that they lie close to the con­fir­mands’ heart is indica­tive of the truth that He dwells, invis­i­bly but actu­al­ly, in their hearts by FAITH.

Group of children with white robes and the words "Kudos to our confirmands"THE WHITE ROBE – The white robe is a sym­bol of the Christian’s holi­ness and sin­less-ness in the sight of his Cre­ator. Every Luther­an con­firmed knows that such sin­less-ness is not a mat­ter of his own doing. He knows, from per­son­al expe­ri­ence as well as his own doing, he could not make him­self right before God… but by God’s grace he has learned that Christ took our sins in His own body on the cross; “That He was wound­ed for our trans­gres­sion, He was bruised for our iniq­ui­ties.” He believes “That the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleans­es us from all sin.” So he can look at his white robe, and con­scious of its spir­i­tu­al sig­nif­i­cance, he can pray con­fi­dent­ly:

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress
Wherein before my God I’ll stand
When I shall reach the heavenly land.”

THE BENDED KNEE – When the con­fir­mand kneels in the pres­ence of God, he is there­by say­ing before all the world that God is above him and that he is beneath God and that His com­mand­ments are for him the prin­ci­ples by which he wish­es to reg­u­late his life.

THE HAND CLASP – (The Promise) Such loy­al­ty to Christ, both in what a per­son believes and in the way he lives, must be a CONSTANT loy­al­ty, even until death. Grant­ed that the indi­vid­ual is a Chris­t­ian at the time of his Con­fir­ma­tion; that is good. But it is not good enough; he must REMAIN a Chris­t­ian until the end. Only “he that endures to the end shall be saved.” And that is what the hand­clasp sym­bol­izes, which the Con­fir­mand gives in the pres­ence of the assem­bled con­gre­ga­tion. It is a pledge of his promise that he renounces the dev­il and all his works and all his ways; that he will cling to the doc­trines of the Bible, that he REMAIN true to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church, and that he will LIVE in har­mo­ny with the Gospel of Christ all the days of his life. It’s not a promise that is tak­en light­ly. Jesus is the WAY, but for us to stay in the WAY takes effort and strug­gles. It means care­ful­ly and faith­ful­ly study­ing God’s Word. It means com­muning with Him often in the Lord’s Sup­per. It takes all of that to keep fol­low­ing Him. Oth­er­wise, we turn off and die with­out God and with­out hope and with­out heav­en. The right road is HIS.

THE LAYING ON OF HANDS – (The Bless­ing) The Pas­tor lays his hand A woman with hands clasped and head bowed with someone's hand on her head and the word "Confirmation"upon each Confirmand’s head and solemn­ly bless­es him. There­after, he pro­claims a short pas­sage from the Scrip­tures, which is designed to guide the indi­vid­ual Chris­t­ian through the future. Thus, the con­firmed is graced with both a gen­er­al and spe­cial BLESSING, pro­nounced by his Pas­tor in the name of the Church and his Lord.

THE REVERENT RECESSION – Is it not sym­bol­ic that at the end of the Con­fir­ma­tion ser­vice the Con­fir­mand should now “WALK OUT INTO THE WORLD” once more? Now they have been for­mal­ly accept­ed into the com­mu­nion of saints to take up their dai­ly tasks, liv­ing their lives to the glo­ry of God and the ser­vice of their fel­low­men. The reces­sion is also a sym­bol of their JOURNEY TOWARDS HEAVEN; “With the cross of Jesus going on before,” a sym­bol of their march towards Par­adise, their ever­last­ing home!

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