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    Baptism is full initiation into the Christian church. Every baptized Christian of every age in the Episcopal Church is welcome to receive communion and be a full member of the body of Christ. At the same time, as one grows in Christ, our Church also expects that those who have been baptized will make a mature reaffirmation of their baptismal vows and receive the laying of hands by a bishop to strengthen them in their journey as baptized Christians.

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Now in our diocese, the preparation for this Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows takes place in local parishes through a fourteen week process of exploration, conversation, and study.

The Rites of Reaffirmation (e.g.. Confirmation, Reception, etc.) are celebrated regionally on the four Baptismal Feast Days (Baptism of Our Lord, the Great Vigil of Easter, the Vigil of Pentecost, and the celebration of All Saints’).

Anyone interested in being confirmed, received or reaffirmed will want to speak with the clergy person in his/her local congregation to find out which liturgy your parish will be participating in. The process of preparation begins roughly fourteen weeks before that liturgy. The full process, including teaching notes for clergy, handouts for participants, and your parish liturgies, is in the booklet below:

Preparing for the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows (PDF). Official document from the EDWM Commission on Ministry regarding our diocesan process in seeking to prepare Christians for a Reaffirmation of their Baptismal Vows through the rites of Confirmation, Reception, & Reaffirmation. Note: If you would prefer a customizable Word document of Preparing for the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows rather than a PDF, please e-mail the Commission on Ministry by clicking here now.





Stage 1 – Inquiry and Story Sharing

The first stage is a period of inquiry and story sharing and to give persons enough information about Christian faith and practice and the life of the local community so they may determine if they wish to enter a disciplined period of mature formation in the story of God’s saving deeds, prayer, worship, and service.

At the end of this stage, you will have written your own spiritual autobiography. The stage is concluded with the First Rite "Welcoming Returning Members and Members Baptized in other Traditions."

Welcoming Returning members and Members Baptized in other Traditions (PDF). This document is extracted from the above document "Preparing for the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows."


Stage 2 – Deeper Exploration of Faith and Ministry

The second stage is a deeper exploration of faith and ministry and is a longer period during which those being formed, along with sponsors, catechists, and other members of the community engage in deeper exploration of faith and ministry. At the end of the stage you will have written you “Vocational Statement,” articulating your sense of calling as a baptized Christian.

This stage is concluded with the Second Rite: "Enrollment for Preparation.”

Enrollment for Preparation (PDF)


Stage 3 – Focus on Prayer and Disciplines

The third stage is a focus on prayer and disciplines as you explore those spiritual disciplines of practice and prayer that will sustain you in your ministry as a baptized person. At the end of the stage you will write your own “Rule of Life,” articulating those practices from your background and your past weeks of learning that will make up your own Christian walk. This stage culminates in the Reaffirmation Liturgy on whatever Baptismal Day your parish participates in.

Following that liturgy, your parish will have a “Rite of Parish Celebration” during which your entire faith community will celebrate your journey and the new commitment you have made. 

Rite of Parish Celebration (PDF)

    Planned Confirmation Services Around the Diocese

During 2018, the dates and locations for our Diocesan observances of the four Baptismal Days are listed below, along with the estimated times at which the local process might begin. These are the liturgies at which candidates who have gone through the process of preparation may be confirmed, received, or may otherwise reaffirm their baptismal vows. The clergy person at your parish can tell you more about which date (or dates) your parish will be participating in and what preparation will look like for you on a local context, including your local preparation’s start date.

2018 Dates
March 31, 2018              St. Paul’s Muskegon
May 19, 2018                  Emmanuel, Petoskey
November 2, 2018        St. David’s, Lansing