What is Confirmation?
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV
Lutherans take the Bible seriously. That means when Jesus said that the church is to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them, we take Jesus’ words very seriously. Jesus gives us the tools for disciple making, baptism and teaching. The promises of baptism are for people of all ages (Acts 2:39) and so we baptize children at the first opportunity. Then we spend the next 18+ years teaching them in our homes, in Sunday School, in the Divine Service, in youth ministry, and as we go through life with them.
In the middle of this time of teaching, 2-3 years is spent in an intentional and focused time of teaching called Catechism or Confirmation. During that time, students study the basics of the faith and are challenged to think about their faith in ways they haven’t. The class work is about 2/3 Bible study and 1/3 apologetics. For the Bible study, we use Martin Luther’s Small Catechism as our guide. We take a look at Old and New Testament passages to learn God’s plan of salvation and his will for our life as partakers of His salvation. We also discuss the big questions of life (Who am I? Who is God? Why am I here?) and different worldviews.
At the culmination of this focused time of training, the students are given an opportunity to confirm the faith that was given to them in Baptism before the congregation. That opportunity is Communion Sunday.