What makes you ready for Confirmation?
In some churches, teens are given an opportunity to undergo confirmation or believers' baptism. But what makes you ready for confirmation or another public declaration of faith?
In an episode of the Parenting for Faith podcast, Rachel answered a question from a listener about what makes you ready for confirmation – which might also apply if a child or young person is offered a chance to be baptised or take communion.
What is confirmation?
Confirmation is a rite of passage in Anglican or Catholic church traditions, usually some time in early teenagerhood, where a person gets to publicly declare their faith as their own. Other churchmanships may have a tradition of full-immersion baptism.
So what makes you ready for confirmation or another public step of faith?
How do I know my child is ready for confirmation?
What makes you ready for confirmation is a variety of factors:
- It’s helpful to know your church’s policy. Often a church will have specific age markers and/or preparation courses that happen at particular times.
- If you have been able to create windows and frame confirmation well in advance (see below), your child may now be showing that they’re ready to take this step for themselves. Talking about it, going to others’ confirmations and highlighting it at other milestones (e.g. birthdays) can all be helpful ways of keeping the conversation about confirmation alive.
- Have your own sense of what you want to see spiritually in your child at the point at which they take this step. Do you want to jump on a wave when they’re excited about it and motivated to do it? Or would you prefer to help them to take this step gradually? Do you want them to be a certain age? As their parent, you know your child best.
How do I prepare my child for confirmation?
Good, advance planning will help you answer the question about what makes you ready for confirmation.
Several years before your child might be confirmed, it’s helpful to create a framework for them regarding confirmation – not because they’re ready to take this step yet, but because it’s something that you’re anticipating in the future.
So prepare your child ahead of time: share stories of your own experience of confirmation (if relevant), and take them to other people’s confirmation/baptism services and talk them through it. Make sure you both share an understanding of what it’s about.
Also try to help them know what the next step is, regarding confirmation. Mention it in conversation – make sure it’s part of your language around spiritual growth and maturity. Your child may get to a stage where they want to publicly declare their own faith, but lack an understanding of how they can do this. Talking regularly about confirmation/baptism as this ‘next step’ will help your child understand what it is, and make them more confident to tell you when they feel ready.
You might also be interested in:
- Preparing your child for baptism, confirmation or a different public faith commitment
- Parenting for Faith course – our free course to help you nurture your child’s growing faith
- Preparing for spiritually significant moments
- Baptism birthdays