Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptized and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship.
Your confirmation will be led by the bishop. It may take place during the main Sunday service at your own church or at a special service. It may also take place at the cathedral or in another church in your diocese.
There is likely to be a rehearsal before the confirmation service so that you understand everything that will happen in the service. The Vicar will make sure you know where to sit and when you need to move. Some parts of the service will be for the whole congregation to join in; some will be for just you and the other confirmation candidates to say.
Most of the confirmation service will normally take place at the front of the church, but for the renewal of baptism promises, candidates may be asked by the bishop to gather around the font. (The font is a large basin on a pedestal, containing the water for baptism.)
The bishop will speak to every candidate by name saying:
(name), God has called you by name and made you his own.
He or she then lays his hand of the head of each saying:
Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit.
Making decisions and promises
At confirmation, you renew the decisions and promises made on your behalf by your parents and godparents when you were baptized as a child.
The declarations made by you will be made in front of the church congregation; the local Christian community will promise to support you and pray for you.
The sign of the cross - the bishop will make the sign of the cross on your forehead with oil.
The role of sponsors
At Baptism, Godparents stood alongside your parents to make the same promises on behalf of the child being baptized. At confirmation you may be asked if you would like a sponsor to stand with you as a symbol of their journeying with you in faith.
It is normal for Confirmation to be followed straight away by Holy Communion, although in cases where confirmation has not taken place in a candidate's parish church they may instead take Communion for the first time in that church on the following Sunday.
What is the right age for confirmation?
There is no right age for a person to be confirmed. Anyone may be confirmed who has been baptized, if they are old enough to answer responsibly for themselves. As a general rule anyone who is over 10 years old and can answer for themselves could be ready for confirmation but the right time for you might be at any age.
What if I wasn't baptized as a child?
If you were not baptized as a child and want to make a commitment of faith, you might consider adult baptism or you can be baptized and confirmed in the same service or baptized shortly before your confirmation. You should discuss this with your vicar.
What does it cost?
A confirmation service is free, though there may be a small charge for a certificate. Ask your parish priest.
What if I was baptised or confirmed in another denomination?
Those who have been confirmed in a church whose ministerial orders are recognised and accepted by the Church of England and in which confirmation is performed by a bishop, or by a priest acting on the bishop's behalf and using chrism blessed by the bishop, do not need to be confirmed. They are simply received into the Church of England instead. This is a simpler service than communion which may be led by the Bishop or the parish priest.
You can find out more about confirmation, and the form of the service, at www.churchofengland.org/our-faith/confirmation.