Zurich. Once again this year, young Christians will stand before the altar in order to make their vow of faithfulness to God. Most of the time they do this in their home congregations, where they are supported in the process by their brothers and sisters. We extend our best wishes to all of this year’s confirmands.
Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, the international leader of the New Apostolic Church, has once again written a letter to these young Christians on the occasion of their confirmation. This has a quite a long tradition. This year, the focus is on being “rich in Christ”, which is also the Church leader’s annual motto for this year.
Putting blessing into action
The Chief Apostle writes that God is prepared to bless the confirmands as they pursue the path that lies ahead of them: “Today, this blessing will be evident through the words spoken by a servant of God.” He goes on to write that they will be most successful in discovering the effects of this blessing when they put into action the vow they will make on their confirmation. The words from Holy Scripture that will be read aloud to the young Christians in their confirmation service relay a similar message: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good… For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6: 45).
Investing in oneness
The Chief Apostle asks his young sisters and brothers to invest in the oneness of God’s children: “In so doing you will be rich!” At the same time he lets them know how grateful the Church is to know that they are on its side: “You mean a great deal to us—and even more to God!
What does confirmation mean?
Confirmation (Latin: confirmatio = “reinforcement”, “affirmation”) is that act of blessing in which young New Apostolic Christians take upon themselves the obligations which their parents undertook on their behalf at their baptism and sealing. From then on these Christians, who have reached the age of spiritual majority, bear full responsibility for everything they do or neglect to do. They commit themselves to faithfulness to God, and publicly profess the New Apostolic faith.
See the explanations in the Catechism of the New Apostolic Church (12.2.2.).
Confirmation services in the New Apostolic Church usually take place on a Sunday between Easter and Pentecost. After a prayer by the officiant, the young Christians receive the confirmation blessing, which is dispensed upon them through laying on of hands. This blessing strengthens the confirmands in their endeavour to keep their vow to profess Jesus Christ in word and deed.
12 April 2019