"In the course of their Christian development, those baptized...are expected...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 the bishop." - Book of Common Prayer (page 412).

Friends,

The Episcopal Church goes to great lengths to recognize and honor the sacraments and rites of other Christian denominations.  Persons who have been baptized by water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in any denomination are considered baptized in the Episcopal Church. Likewise, persons who have been confirmed (i.e., made a public affirmation of their faith as an adult) in any denomination are considered confirmed in the Episcopal Church.

At the same time, one of the things that makes the Episcopal Church unique among Christian denominations is our personal relationship to a bishop in Apostolic Succession.  That is, at some point in our lives, all Episcopalians have received the laying on of hands by a bishop. For us, the Bishop represents the unbroken line of Apostolic authority and serves as our chief pastor.  

On Saturday evening, April 20th, Bishop Waldo will celebrate the Easter Vigil with us this year and will administer the sacrament of Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation. Each of these rites are a public affirmation of faith, the particulars of which depend largely upon one's personal history.  Each of these assume that a person has been baptized, as it is the foundational sacrament that is shared with throughout the entire Church.  

Confirmation is the public affirmation of our baptismal promises.  Typically, it is a time for those who were baptized as young children to make their first mature affirmation of their faith.  It is also a time for those who were baptized as adults to receive the blessing of a bishop.

Reception applies to those who have been confirmed in another denomination and who now wish to be recognized as a member of the Episcopal Church.  If one has been previously confirmed in any denomination, you are to be received.  (This would be the case, for example, for those who were confirmed in the Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist or Orthodox traditions. Also, if you have been a member of another denomination that does not practice Confirmation, such as the Baptist tradition, but have made some other adult profession of faith, you would be Received.)

Reaffirmation is an opportunity for those who have been confirmed to publicly reaffirm this decision.  This may be done to acknowledge a spiritual development in one's life, or following a period of time when a person has been absent from the church, or even placed themselves a part from God.  

If you would like to be Confirmed or Received at the Easter Vigil, or would like to make a Reaffirmation, please contact me ASAP.  I will also follow up separately with those whom I believe have already expressed an interest in these rites.

Blessings,
Fr. Mark

PS. for more information, click here: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/confirmation






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The Episcopal Church of St. Simon & St. Jude · 1110 Kinley Road · Irmo, SC 29063 · USA

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