Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Confirmation of Confirmation

From The Living Church-

There is no shortage these days of crises and semi-crises with which Episcopalians and other varieties of Anglicans can amuse themselves. The sexuality wars seem to have ebbed — sadly, not through reconciliation, but through one side achieving commanding victory. Continuing shrinkage of attendance and membership periodically sounds fresh alarms. The legitimacy of offering Holy Communion to the unbaptized is sure to raise hackles well into the future. Conversation around liturgical revision is continuing to grow in intensity.

In the midst of all this ferment, the subject of the “sacramental rite” (per the 1979 BCP) of confirmation remains an enduring presence, though it rarely achieves top-tier status. Lots of Episcopalians, lay and ordained, seem to think they know what confirmation is, but our canons and liturgical forms are, at best, ambiguous, and there’s nothing approaching broad agreement about how to interpret them. If one were pressed to describe a practical consensus on the issue, it would probably be something along the lines of “Confirmation is the sacrament of becoming an Episcopalian.” I suspect nobody would actually ever teach such a thing formally, but as we actually go about our life together as a church, that’s what it appears we believe.

More here-

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