What if the Parish Confirmation is delayed?
In these difficult times many Confirmations have had to be delayed. It is our Diocesan policy (set out here) that since ‘communion before Confirmation’ is a departure from our inherited norm it requires special permission. In normal times the agreement of the Area Bishop is required before a parish introduces the practice of admitting baptized persons to communion before Confirmation, and this has to be undertaken following agreement by the PCC and only after a policy has been agreed and a programme of preparation is in place. This remains the case. However in the particular circumstances of the Covid outbreak, where preparation for Confirmation and Holy Communion has been underway, but the Confirmation service has been delayed, Area Bishops may give permission for candidates to be admitted to Holy Communion before Confirmation on the understanding that they are confirmed as soon as possible thereafter.
Clergy who have been preparing candidates for presentation should contact the Area Bishop’s office giving the names of those to be admitted and certifying that they have been carefully prepared, and have received specific spiritual preparation before coming to receive Holy Communion for the first time. The Area Bishop should liaise with the parish to ensure that when we are able to bring these candidates to Confirmation they are confirmed as soon as possible.
We should maintain the important discipline of preparation as the approach to the sacrament and the Anglican norm that Holy Communion follows Confirmation, while making provision in the special circumstances in which we find ourselves to enable those who seek Him to come to the Lord’s Table.