In confirmation, young people affirm the promises made on their behalf by their parents and godparents, or adults the promises made for themselves, at their Baptism. As a person is confirmed, he or she receives strength to believe and expresses the desire to grow in Christian faith, life and love.
Confirmation follows extensive preparation. Those who are confirmed confess their faith in Christ, joining themselves to the faith the Church has held for more than two thousand years. The congregation prays for those to be confirmed, who are strengthened by God as they receive an apostolic blessing.
Although a person becomes a full member of Christ's body at Baptism, confirmation affords an opportunity to make a public affirmation of faith, and – in the case of young people – for the Church to encourage and accept the new independence that comes as young people cross the threshold into adulthood.
Confirmation awards Church members the right
- to act as godparents.
- accept Holy Communion independently.
- stand in parish elections at the age of 18.
The prerequisite for a church wedding is confirmation preparation, but confirmation itself is not required.
In an increasingly secular and transient world, more adults are confirmed today than previously. Sometimes a young person attends classes but chooses not to go forward with confirmation at that particular time; sometimes people come to faith as adults; and sometimes members of other denominations are required to seek confirmation to join the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Parishes offer suitable classes for every group. For more information, contact your local parish office.