THE ORDER FOR
OR LAYING ON OF HANDS WITH PRAYER UPON THOSE THAT ARE BAPTIZED AND COME TO YEARS OF DISCRETION
This Service may be taken by itself, or in combination with other Services in this Book, the arrangements for the Service, including the place of the Sermon, and the place and choice of Hymns, being subject to the direction of the Bishop. The Apostles’ Creed may be recited if the Bishop so determine, and Collects and other devotions from this Book may be used.
Upon the day appointed, all that are to be then confirmed, being placed and standing in order before the Bishop, the Minister shall present them unto the Bishop, and say:
REVEREND Father in God, I present unto you these persons to receive the laying on of hands.
Bishop. Take heed that the persons whom ye present be duly prepared and meet to receive the laying on of hands.
Minister. I have instructed them and inquired of them and believe them so to be.
Then the Bishop shall read the Preface following:
BRETHREN, these are they to whom we purpose, God willing, to administer the Apostolic rite of the laying on of hands.
The Church has thought good to order that none shall be confirmed, but such as can say the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, and are further instructed in the Church Catechism, set forth for that purpose.
We are assured that these persons present, being by baptism members of Christ’s Church, are prepared as aforesaid, and we are assembled here to bless them by the laying on of hands with prayer.
This order is very convenient to be observed.
First. Because it is evident from sundry places in holy Scripture that the Apostles prayed for and laid their hands upon those who were baptized; and the same is agreeable with the usage of the Church since the Apostles’ time. This holy rite is reckoned in the Epistle to the Hebrews to be one of the first principles of Christ.
Secondly. In order that persons, having come to the years of discretion, may acknowledge openly the vows made at their Baptism and dedicate their lives to the will of God.
Thirdly. In order that by prayer and laying on of hands they may be strengthened by the Holy Spirit, manfully to fight under the banner of Christ crucified, against sin, the world, and the devil, and to continue Christ’s faithful soldiers and servants unto their life’s end.
Then the Bishop, or some Minister appointed by him, shall read the following Lessons from holy Scripture.
Hear the words of holy Scripture written in the eighth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, beginning at the fourth verse.
THEREFORE they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word. And Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed unto them the Christ. And the multitudes gave heed with one accord unto the things that were spoken by Philip, when they heard, and saw the signs which he did. For from many of those which had unclean spirits, they came out, crying with a loud voice: and many that were palsied, and that were lame, were healed. And there was much joy in that city. But when they believed Philip preaching good tidings concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Hear also the words of holy Scripture written in the nineteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, beginning at the first verse.
AND it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples: and he said unto them, Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed? And they said unto him, Nay, we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit was given. And he said, Into what then were ye baptized? And they said, Into John’s baptism. And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Jesus. And when they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And they were in all about twelve men.
The Bishop shall then require THE RENEWAL OF BAPTISMAL VOWS, saying:
DO you here, in the presence of God and of this Congregation, renew the solemn promises and vows which were made at your Baptism?
And every one shall audibly answer:
Or else the Bishop shall say:
DO you here, in the presence of God and of this Congregation, renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh?
Answer. I do.
Bishop. Do you believe the Christian Faith as it is set forth in the Apostles’ Creed?
Answer. I do.
Bishop. Will you endeavour to keep God’s holy will and commandments, and to walk in the same all the days of your life?
Answer. I will, God being my helper.
Then shall the Bishop proceed with THE CONFIRMATION, Commending those who are to be confirmed to the prayers of the Congregation. and saying:
OUR help is in the Name of the Lord;
Answer. Who hath made heaven and earth.
Bishop. Blessed be the Name of the Lord;
Answer. Henceforth, world without end.
Bishop. Lord, hear our prayer;
Answer. And let our cry come unto thee.
Bishop. Let us pray.
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by Water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given unto them forgiveness of all their sins: Confirm and strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Spirit the Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace; the spirit of wisdom and understanding; the spirit of counsel and might; the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill them. O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear, now and for ever. Amen.
Then all of them in order kneeling before the Bishop, he shall lay his hand upon the head of every one severally, saying:
DEFEND, O Lord, this thy Servant with thy heavenly grace, that he may continue thine for ever; and daily increase in thy Holy Spirit, more and more, until he come unto thy everlasting kingdom. Amen.
Then shall the Bishop say:
The Lord be with you;
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Bishop. Let us pray.
Then shall be said by all:
OUR Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.
Then the Bishop shall say:
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who makest us both to will and to do such things as be good and acceptable unto thy Divine Majesty: We make our humble supplications unto thee for these thy servants, upon whom, after the example of thy holy Apostles, we have now laid our hands, to certify them, by this sign, of thy favour and gracious goodness towards them. Let thy fatherly hand, we beseech thee, ever be over them; let thy Holy Spirit ever be with them; and so lead them in the knowledge and obedience of thy Word, that in the end they may obtain everlasting life; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
O ALMIGHTY Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Then the Bishop shall bless them, saying thus:
THE blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you, and remain with you, for ever. Amen.
It is desirable that every one shall have a Godfather or Godmother as witness at the Confirmation.
When the Confirmation follows immediately after holy Baptism, the shortened form on page 538 may be used.
And there shall none be admitted to the holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.