On November 5th we will celebrate the Feast of All Saints which is a major Feast of the Church. Traditionally on this day we Baptize, we Confirm, we Receive, and we Reaffirm. What does all of this mean? In short, this is a day where commitment to the church is blessed and celebrated. Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation requires the participation of a Bishop—and since we are blessed to have one in our midst we can offer all of these pathways of commitment on this special day depending on where you are on your spiritual journey. Here is a breakdown:
Baptism is the ancient entry rite into the church, which is also called The Body of Christ. In baptism we reaffirm that we belong to the God who is made known to us in Jesus, and we promise (or promises are made for us if we are infants) to live our lives in accordance with this deepest truth about who we are and whose we are. If you’ve already been baptized in another tradition, you don’t need to do this again because in baptism we are marked as Christ’s own forever.
Confirmation in the Episcopal Church is a sacramental rite in which a baptized person makes a mature and public affirmation of the promises that are normally made at infant baptism. Whether you are at least 12 years of age or an adult, confirmation is a way to confirm the covenant made at baptism and is also a commitment to the Church as you learn more about what it means to be an Episcopalian.
Reception this honors anyone who has made a mature confession of faith in any other denomination by saying, in effect, we recognize and honor your spiritual journey in another fellowship and we welcome you into the fellowship of the Episcopal Church as you continue that journey.
Reaffirmation This is for those who are already confirmed in the Episcopal Church. You might be someone who has been away from the Church for a period of time and you may want to make a new beginning. Or maybe you sense that you are in a new stage in your spiritual life and want to affirm this in ritual.
I am always happy to answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in any of the above, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.