What is Confirmation? It’s been said in recent times that Confirmation is a Sacrament in search of a theology. Is Confirmation a Sacrament in which the Holy Spirit is conferred? Is it the completing act of Baptism? Or is it merely an opportunity for catechism and for those acting consciously as adults to confirm for themselves their baptismal vows and their commitment to Christ and his Church? What is the relation of Confirmation to Baptism and the Holy Communion? What purpose does Confirmation serve in light of today’s common practice of communing young children and even infants? These are all questions that need to be asked in a day in whichthere is much confusion over the nature of this rite. Bishop Hall ably walks the reader through the Biblical, Patristic, and historical evidence to show the connection between Confirmation and the apostolic laying on of hands. He answers questions regarding the nature of the gift received in Confirmation, it’s relation to Baptism and the Holy Communion, and discusses the work of the Holy Spirit, his fruit, and the sevenfold gift prayed for in the Prayer Book’s rite.
The Anglican Expositor is pleased to bring back into print this short, but very densely rich book on Confirmation. Originally printed as part of the Oxford Library of Practical Theology, this volume serves as a companion to the popular volumes on Baptism and the Lord’s Supper written by Darwell Stone. Readers may also be interested in our reprint of Arthur James Mason’s book, The Relation of Confirmation to Baptism, which provides more detail and gives alternative arguments on some points.