Bishop confirms 82 people at Easter Vigil
The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, led the Easter Vigil and Diocesan Confirmation at St Paul’s Cathedral during the evening of Holy Saturday. 82 candidates from 29 parishes across the Diocese were baptised and confirmed by the Bishop.
The parishes that took part are from across the diocese including the Korean Congregation at St George’s Bloomsbury (pictured).
The Easter Vigil is the first celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and is held after dark on the Saturday before Easter Sunday following the Jewish practice of counting the beginning of the new day from sundown rather than midnight. By ancient tradition, it is during this service that people are baptised and that adult previously baptised receive full communion with the Church.
The roots of confirmation are found in the New Testament. After his Resurrection, Jesus breathed upon the Twelve Apostles and they received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came on the whole community (Acts 2:1–4). The New Testament also records the apostles bestowing the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17). In Acts 19, we see the Apostle Paul visiting some people who were described as disciples, in that they had received the baptism of John for the repentance of sins but had not yet heard of or received the Holy Spirit.
In the early church, the practice developed of initiating persons receiving instruction in the faith as Catechumens. They were prepared for a single rite of initiation, baptism, anointing with oil and laying on of hands. The content of the preparation developed in the face of persecution and growing doctrinal understanding to test converts against the dangers of falling away from the faith.
In Acts 19, we see the Apostle Paul visiting some people who were described as disciples, in that they had received the baptism of John for the repentance of sins but had not yet heard of or received the Holy Spirit.
In the Church of England, Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which people affirm for themselves the faith into which they have been baptised and one’s intention to live a life of committed discipleship. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands, and sometimes anointing with the oil of catechumens or chrism by the confirming bishop. The Church also asks God to give you power through the Holy Spirit to enable you to live in the way of Jesus.
Anyone seeking confirmation in the future, should seek the advice of their local Vicar or Pastor. Alternatively, they can seek further information on the confirmation pages.