Confirmation is one of the oldest sacraments of the Church. In the book of Acts the Apostles laid their hands on believers so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. This rite of laying on hands became connected to Baptism, and the two formed one rite. With the rise in popularity of infant baptism, the laying on of hands was delayed until an age of maturity (usually between the ages of 12 and 16) and became an opportunity for Christians who had been baptized as infants to make their own, mature confession of faith. Many churches that follow this traditional model use Confirmation as a chance to teach their youth about the basics of the Christian faith and life and the distinctive characteristics of their own denomination. Others make Confirmation a prerequisite to church membership and eligibility for elected office in the congregation.
In the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, Confirmation age is 13 years. All our youth -- and any adults who would like to learn more about being an Episcopalian -- are encouraged to participate in Confirmation instruction. Our curriculum covers the bible, all the sacraments of the Church, Anglican history, the Episcopal church, gifts of the Holy Spirit, Christian mission, and the difference between Christianity and other religions. After the curriculum has been completed, confirmands may be confirmed by the bishop. Today, just as in the Early Church, a bishop lays his hands on the confirmand and prays for the Holy Spirit to fill the confirmand with grace and strength. The Episcopal Confirmation rite can be found in our Book of Common Prayer on page 413.
If you or your loved one is ready for this life-changing commitment, please call the church office at 518-434-3502 to receive additional information about available Confirmation classes.