“…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Rev. 2:10
There are various dates for congregations to confirm their youth! In the past, many were confirmed on Palm Sunday and received their first Communion on Maundy Thursday. As tradition and practices changed some moved confirmation to Pentecost Sunday. It doesn’t matter of course – it is adiaphoron. When I was in the parish, we finally decided to go with the last Sunday in April so as never to interfere with either Palm Sunday or Pentecost.
This past Sunday one of my granddaughters was confirmed! It was her time to reaffirm her baptismal faith and make a public witness of her faith. We rejoiced with her, celebrated her baptism and thanked God for her public testimony of faith!
Our celebration of confirmation is a celebration of the faith and love that binds us to Christ and to one another! In a congregation, there is always joy as our young people march into the sanctuary to confess their faith. The faith of young and old rests solely on the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord. While this Gospel Good News is not new to us, it remains powerful and dramatic! It is for that reason we rejoice as we see it take root and grow in our young people.
Please do not overlook the importance of youth ministry! Statistically we seem to experience some loss between the baptismal font and confirmation and another loss between confirmation and adulthood. Some see confirmation as a kind of “graduation” even though we say time and again that it is not that! The relationship between confirmands and the pastor and the church is vital during the high school years. It does take a lot of intentional work with or without the cooperation of parents.
My guess is that all of us remember the day of our confirmation very well! Hopefully, your confirmation was a heartfelt and significant day in your life. How was the next day and the next Sunday? Where did you see yourself going from there? What kind of Bible Study and conversation did you need at that time? Were there meaningful fellowship times for you in the church or did you need to meet those needs outside of the church? Were you as committed to worship as you were when you were in confirmation class, acolyting and with kids your age?
Teens need Christ of course by they also need the church and they need you! May interaction with this age group be a joy for you.