A Serious Promise

When confirmands stand before the altar, they promise that they intend to continue steadfast in their confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it. How serious are the confirmands, congregations, and pastors about this. Perhaps we need a bit of a wake up call. The worst that seems possible in this country is that a young person might not be considered a part of the “in” crowd. We pray that this will not change for the worse, but we need to remind our confirmands that suffering for and persevering in the faith is a part of present day life for Christians in many parts of the world. It was a part of life for many of our ancestors who suffered persecution for their Lutheran confession. Stories like this make the backsliding and lack of seriousness on confirmation day seem not just sad, but reckless. Is the rite of confirmation a puberty rite or a moment of solemn commitment to the Gospel? What can we do about it?

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2 comments on “A Serious Promise

  1. fathertheophilus says:

    Something that we really need to start doing, and something that will be extremely unpopular is to refuse to confirm people who are not serious about it, have no intention of going to church after confirmation, and who are not faithful in worship before confirmation. It seems to be an “automatic” in many parishes that kids will just be confirmed at a certain age, no matter what. This has been a disastrous policy. It inflates church rolls with people who aren’t even Christians, and yet the pastor is bound to “marry and bury” just because they’re on the rolls.

    I do all that I can to impress the seriousness of the faith upon my catechumens, but when so many are out to make the church “fun” and “interesting” it is no wonder they don’t take it seriously in the end. Christians are their own worst enemy. No one has done more damage to Christian faith and worship than “well-intentioned” “Christians.” God help us.

  2. pomeranus says:

    I have been struggling with this also. There comes a point when a catechist is working harder than the catechumen. If confirmation becomes some sort of puberty rite, we have gone down the road of subtle paganism which eventually hollows out the faith. Too often it is parents who don’t have time to catechize their children (shifting responsibility from the head of the household to the pastor) and don’t have time to bring their children to divine services who insist on the right to confirmation and make for big celebrations. I’m not sure whether the wedding culture carries over into confirmation or the other way around. Any way we look at it, we have a problem.

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