Confirmation: What Is It & What Does It Mean?
By: Brittney Butcher
November 18, 2012

Confirmation was originally a part of the rite of initiation for membership in the church. The candidate was baptized after confessing his or her faith. A prayer was offered for the blessing and strengthening of the Holy Spirit in the candidate\'s life, followed by the laying on of hands or the signing of the cross with oil upon the forehead. The rite concluded with the new member sharing in the Eucharist. In the early church only bishops were permitted to baptize. When Christianity became legal in the fourth century, the church experienced rapid growth. To cope with the requests for membership in the church, priests were permitted to baptize, but the laying on of hands or anointing was reserved for the bishop. The word confirmation was first used of this laying on of hands or anointing in the early fifth century. Confirmation was seen as the ratification or completion of baptism. Thus the rite of initiation became separate rites, baptism and confirmation. The gifts are understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, wonder and awe, and wisdom. In understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as followers of Christ. With the gift of counsel, we know the difference between right and wrong. Fortitude helps us overcome our fear and is willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus. With knowledge we understand the meaning of God. Piety gives us a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. Wonder and awe makes us aware of the glory and majesty of God. Wisdom is the capacity to love spiritual things more than material ones. The disciples were told to spread the gifts. I will use the gifts to help other people understand God?s way. The disciples went out and preached the gospel fearlessly and we are strengthened to meet the spiritual challenges of our life. I would use counsel, knowledge, and wisdom. I would use these to do the right thing and gain more understanding as to what it means to be a part of the church.