Youth and Adult Confirmation

Pastor Galler confirmed Tifaney Sweeden on December 9, 2012, after she completed her instruction in the Christian faith and chose to make the Lutheran confession of that faith by joining the Pilgrim congregation.

Pastor Galler confirmed Tifaney Sweeden on December 9, 2012, after she completed her instruction in the Christian faith and chose to make the Lutheran confession of that faith by joining the Pilgrim congregation.

Study of God’s Word and instruction in the Christian faith is ideally a cradle to grave process (some say “womb to tomb”), though in the Lutheran Church there is traditionally an intensive period of catechesis (study and instruction, especially on the basis of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther’s Large or Small Catechism) leading to Confirmation. Confirmation is a custom and rite of the Church (see, for example Lutheran Service Book pages 272-274); it links catechumens (disciples or students) to their Baptism, celebrates the reception of the Lord’s Word among them, and, in cases where they have not yet communed, welcomes them to the Sacrament of the Altar. Confirmation declares of a catechumen that he or she is a Christian who has been baptized, confesses the faith, and is in communion with Christ and His Church.

Sessions essentially focus on the following: Who is Jesus? What has He done for you? How does He bring this to you? We also address any questions participants have about Christianity and its basic teachings found in the Bible.

Pastor Galler confirms John Morton after his brother Benjamin on August 17, 2016. Photo: Angela Sampson.

Pastor Galler confirms John Morton after his brother Benjamin on August 17, 2016. Photo: Angela Sampson.

In the case of youth, upper grade-schoolers generally meet with the pastor weekly over several school years for their catechesis. Memory work, lectures, discussion, workbook activities, field trips, and examinations may be part of the curriculum. Candidates may be publicly examined in the presence of the congregation before confirmation.

In the case of adults, classes are scheduled as needed and at the convenience and availability of the participants, with the period for the sessions, their frequency, and the length of the course in part depending on the individuals involved. Such classes are a good introduction to both the Christian faith and the Lutheran Church, leaving those who complete them free to join the church as a confirmed member but under no obligation to do so. (Existing members generally are welcome to sit in on such classes as a “refresher” course.)

Whether in the case of youth or adults, Confirmation ideally is not regarded as a graduation from Sunday School or Bible Class. Baptized Christians’ being admitted to the Lord’s Supper assumes that ongoing catechesis is a way of life for those faithful Christians.

You may also be interested in the following audio files from the Adult Catechesis course that began in the Fall of 2017: Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5, Session 6, Session 7, Session 8, Session 9, Session 10, Session 11, Session 12, and Session 13.