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The Confirmation

Confirmation essentially includes the prayer for the seven-fold gifts of the Spirit preceding the laying on of hands. The laying on of hands itself may take place in a group or groups at the communion rail (or an equivalent place if this is not convenient): alternatively, candidates may come up in pairs to kneel before the Bishop.

Whichever method is used, there needs to be a full, detailed and careful rehearsal in order that all candidates know exactly what is expected of them.

The laying on of hands is an act of prayer and, at the moment that the Bishop is laying on hands, there should be complete stillness and no movement of any candidates at all. Where there is room, this stillness can be best achieved by the Bishop moving round a group rather than pairs or single candidates coming to the Bishop one after the other.

Where confirmation takes place in a group either around a 'nave sanctuary' or before the chancel step, they should be in place for the whole confirmation prayer, not simply the laying on of hands. The presenting Priest is asked to announce the Christian name of the candidate being confirmed. (Please note that the Bishop will use the preferred Christian name only at the confirmation, and that name cards are not needed). It is important that candidates should be rehearsed in saying their 'Amen' to the words the Bishop uses at the laying on of hands. This 'Amen' is intended to be said by the candidate as his or her seal and affirmation of the confirmation prayer, but frequently the congregation will want to join in this 'Amen' to show support for what is taking place and this practice is to be encouraged.

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