Confirmation: An Important Christian Tradition or Unneeded Rite?

One of my illustrations of valued tradition stirred up some unexpected controversy - confirmation. I suggested that, "We'd like to try something like confirmation at Lakepoint." What do you think?

I spoke this past Sunday at Lakepoint Church, amongst other things, on the value of tradition as a formative source of our faith.  It went over well and served its purpose - bringing some unity between those from traditional mainline church back grounds, contemporary evangelical church backgrounds, and those from non-church backgrounds.

One of my illustrations however stirred up some unexpected controversy - confirmation.  I suggested that, "We'd like to try something like confirmation at Lakepoint.  We're not sure exactly what that would look like for us, but we'd like to explore it."

Some absolutely loved the thought of a confirmation class.  In fact, some families confided that weekly communion and adolescent confirmation were so meaningful to their backgrounds, that they can't imagine being a part of a church that didn't practice as such.  Since we are/will, they're all in for making Lakepoint their home.

Others were rather put off by the idea of confirmation.  Perhaps because it implies infant baptism (Lakepoint practices infant dedication, and saves baptism for a conscious age), or maybe more so because they are carrying negative impressions from their experiences surrounding confirmation (I suspect the comments were based on the latter more than the former).

At any rate, I'd love some help in clearing the air.  If you love the idea of a Christian Confirmation Class, what from your experiences have solidified that value?  If you're not a fan of the idea, what have you seen or heard that raised concerns for you?

Forms and titles may be up for debate, but regardless of church background, I'd like to think that there would be value in some sort of "faith foundations" experience, with a voluntary call to act on and personalize your faith, at a formative adolescent age... heck, maybe this would be good to open to all ages.

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Denise Konkol November 26, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I am Catholic, and I'd have to say it was my daughter's recent confirmation that was more meaningful to me than my own. I think these rites aren't just for the individuals undergoing them, but also serve to witness and inspire the rest of the faith community. That said, I think people are more ready for confirmation when they are 17 (the age in our parish when most adolescents receive the sacrament) than others, and it's OK to wait until you're ready to make that public affirmation.


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