3.2 Confirmation

3.2 Confirmation

 After the sermon the catechumens shall present themselves before the minister who shall begin in this way:

BELOVED OF THE LORD: the following persons, (Names _______), have been instructed in our most holy faith, and have sustained a satisfactory examination before the elders of the congregation(s). They are now to be received publicly into communicant membership of this congregation (their respective congregations) through confirmation.

The rite of confirmation is the solemn and joyful acknowledgement by the congregation that God has confirmed His covenant promise of salvation, which was signified and sealed to these children in baptism, by granting them repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ upon their coming to the age of understanding and commitment.

As children of the covenant, they were presented in their infancy by their parents for Holy Baptism, receiving in it the sign and seal of the sonship of God. As joint heirs of the grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, they have enjoyed the blessings of the means of grace and special instruction in the doctrines and duties of our faith. They now earnestly desire to confess their faith publicly, to enter into full fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and His church by partaking of the Holy Supper, to assume the obligations of communicant membership in the church of Jesus Christ, and to persevere in the fel­lowship of His people. Therefore they now stand before God and this congregation in this solemn manner to be received publicly by the church and to be admitted to all her blessings.

Here the minister shall address the catechumens:

BELOVED IN THE LORD JESUS: We thank God for the grace which has been given to you, in that, having come to years of understanding, you have embraced God’s covenant promise which was signified and sealed to you in your infancy by Holy Baptism. (Your knowledge of God’s grace and promise has been strengthened by the godly example and instruction of your parents and teachers.) You are now to confess public ly your hearty trust in Christ your Savior, which trust the Holy Ghost has worked in you by the gospel, that not only to others, but to you also, forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation, are freely given by God, merely of grace, for the sake of Christ’s merits.

You are now requested to answer sincerely the following questions:

First: Do you believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inerrant and infallible Word of God, and its doctrine, summarized in the confessions of this Church, to be the perfect and only true doctrine of salvation?

Answer: I do.

Second: Do you confess that because of your sinfulness you abhor and humble yourself before God, and that you trust for salvation not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone?

Answer: I do.

Third: Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your sovereign Lord; and do you promise, in reliance on the grace of God, to serve Him with your whole heart, to forsake the world, to mortify your old nature, and to lead a godly life?

Answer: I do.

Fourth: Do you agree to submit in the Lord to the government of this church, and, in case you should be found delinquent in doctrine or life, to obey its discipline?

Answer: I do.

Beloved, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I welcome you to full communion with God’s people, and in particular to participation in the sacrament of the Holy Supper. I charge you that by the faithful use of the means of grace-the Word of God, the sacraments, and prayer-and in humble reliance upon the grace of God, you continue steadfastly in the confession you have made. Rest assured that if you confess Christ before men, He will confess you before His Father Who is in heaven. May the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory by Christ, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, and strengthen you. To Him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Now the minister shall extend a hand of greeting, and may present a certificate of reception to each new communicant.

PRAYER:

Most merciful Father, we heartily thank You for the great goodness You have been pleased to show toward these Your servants by giving them grace to embrace and accept for themselves Your covenant of salvation which was signified and sealed to them earlier in the sacrament of baptism. And now, O Lord, we beseech You to complete the good work which You have begun in them. Fortify them against the assaults of sin and hell. Do not let Satan prevail against them. Keep them from the evil that is in the world. Help them to walk in the Spirit, so that they may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Defend them from all heresy and schism, and from all apostasy and unbelief. Never allow them to draw back to perdition. Make them faithful even to death, so that no one may rob them of their crown. And grant, O most merciful Father, that, having continued steadfast in faith and hope to the end, they may be counted worthy to be united with Your saints in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The confirmed catechumens shall be dismissed now with this or another suitable benediction:

Now the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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