The Scriptural BCP - The Order of Confirmation

The Order of Confirmation
Or Laying on of Hands upon Those That Are Baptized
and Come to Years of Discretion.

IT is ordered Rubr. 1. at Confirm. That none should be confirm'd till they come to the use of reason, and can say their Catechism, for these reasons.

  1. Because then they may with their own mouth ratifie and confirm the promise made for them by their Godfathers.
  2. Because they then begin to be in danger of temptation, against which they receive strength in confirmation.
  3. Because this is agreeable with the usage in times past; by times past, we must not understand the first times (for then confirmation was administred presently after baptism,) but later times; in which the first order hath been of a long time omitted for these reasons given; and this order, which our Church observes generally received throughout Christendom.

Lest any man should think it any detriment to the child to stay till such years, holy Church assures us out of holy Scripture, that children baptized, till they come to years to be tempted, have no need of confirmation, having all things necessary for their, that is, childrens salvation, and be undoubtedly saved. The same saies Antiquity, S. Aug. Ser. 2. post Dom. Palmar. You are coming to the holy Font, ye shall be washt in baptism, ye shall be renewed by the saving laver of regeneration; ascending from that laver, ye shall be without all sin: if so, then safe; for blessed is the man whose iniquities are forgiven, Psal. 32. 1.

S. Chrys. Hom. 11. in ep. ad Rom. c. 6. Quemadmodum corpus Christi sepultum in terra fructum tulit, universi urbis salutem, ita & nostrum sepultum in baptismo, fructum tulit, justitiam, sanctificationem, adoptionem, infinita bona, feret autem & resurrectionis postea donum. The body of Christ buried in the earth, brought forth fruit, namely the salvation of the whole world; so our body buried in baptism hath brought forth fruit, righteousness, sanctification, adoption, infinite good things, and shall afterwards have the gift of the Resurrection.

It were too long to cite particulars, take the COUNC. of MILEVIS for all, Can. 2. Ideo parvuli qui nihil peccatorum in semetipsis committere potuerunt, in peccatorum remissionem veraciter baptizantur, ut in eis regeneratione mundetur, quod generatione contraxerunt. Therefore infants, who could not sin actually, are truly baptized for the remission of sins, that that which they have contracted by their birth might be cleansed by their second birth. And the Council pronounces Anathema to them that deny it.

But more than all this is the express words of Scripture, Gal. 3. 26. where S. PAUL proves that they were the children of God, for, or because they were baptized; if they be children, then are they heirs of God, Romans 8. 27. 1 S. Pet. 3. 21. Baptism saves us. Again, Gal. 3. 27. As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ, and that surely is enough for salvation. By all this, we see the effect of Baptism is salvation: Now if children be capable of baptism, as hath been proved, then sith they no way hinder or resist this grace, it necessarily follows that they are partakers of the blessed effects of baptism, and so are undoubtedly saved.

The children that are to be confirmed are to be brought to the Bishop by one that shall be their Godfather, who may witness their confirmation. The Godfather may be the same that was at baptism, but in most places, the custome is to have another. De Cons. Dist. 4. c. 100.

And the Bishop shall confirm them. Rubr. before confirmation. So was it of old S. Aug. de Trinit. l. 15 c. 20. Chrys. hom. 18. in Act. speaking of Philip, when he had baptized, He did not give the holy Ghost to the baptized, for he had no power, for this was the gift of the Apostles alone. Before him Cyprian ep. 73 Those that were baptized by Philip the Deacon, were not baptized again, but that which was wanting was supplyed by Peter and John, by whose prayers and imposition of hands the holy Ghost was called upon, and poured upon them. Which very thing is done amongst us now; they that are baptized, are offered up to the Bishops of the Church, that by our prayer and imposition of hands they may receive the holy Ghost. Before him Vrban Anno Dom. 222. tells us, that Bishops only did confirm. And S. Hierom. dial. adv. Lucifer. saies it was, Totius orbis consensus in hanc partem, the general acknowledgement of the whole Christian World.


This holy Rite hath been too little understood by many, and therefore too lightly esteem'd and valued: for the remedy whereof, it may not be amiss to shew the benefit of it in these conclusions following.

  1. The Holy Ghost was given to persons baptized, by the Apostles prayers and laying on of hands, Acts 8. 14, 15, 16. Acts 19. 6.
  2. This gift of the Holy Ghost so given, was not only, nor principally, the gift of miracles or speaking with tongues. For, first, Confirmation is reckoned by S. Paul amongst Fundamentals, Heb. 6. 1, 2. which were necessary to all ages of the Church; but the gift of miracles was not such, for that lasted but a while, as experience hath taught us. Again, confirmation was administred to all baptized persons, Acts 8. 15. 19. 6. but all baptized persons were not to have the gift of miracles, 1 Cor. 12. 8, 9. To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the working of miracles. And again, 29. verse, Are all workers of miracles? It is true that in the Apostles times, the inward grace of confirmation was attended with miracles, but it will not thence follow that miracles were the principal intended gift in confirmation, no more than that the visible opening of Heaven is the proper effect of baptism, because at our Saviours baptism, the heavens were so opened, S. Matthew 3. or that the proper effect of preaching is to work miracles, because that at the Apostles preaching miracles were wrought, Acts 10. 44. In those first times, the Holy Ghost fell upon Believers and they spake with tongues. Signa erant tempori opportuna, [Those signs were seasonable to those times:] does any man now expect that those, that receive the holy Ghost by our prayers and imposition of hands, should speak with tongues? and if they do not speak with tongues, is any man of so perverse a heart, as to say, that they have not received the holy Ghost? S. Aug. in ep. S. Ioh. tractat. 6. In the beginning of spiritual and marvellous dispensations, outward signs appeared to confirm the new preached faith, but now that the faith is sufficiently confirm'd, although such miracles be not wrought, yet we receive those inward graces and vertues, which were signified and demonstrated by those signs, Chrys. in S. Matth. Hom. 13.
  3. The proper and principal effect of confirmation was, and is, Ghostly strength and power to resist temptations, as our Church teaches Rubr. 1. before the Catechism. That the baptized, when they come to years and the use of reason, may have, not their baptism confirm'd (which needs no confirmation to perfect it,) but themselves and their souls, by some new vertue and power, or by an addition and increase of former graces, by which they may be enabled against those temptations that shall assault them, whence it is called Confirmation. Regeneramur ad vitam per baptismum, in hoc confirmamur ad pugnam. [By baptism we are regenerated to life, in confirmation we are strengthned to fight, against our enemies: Melchiad. ep. ad Epis. Hisp. about the year 311.] In Confirmation the Holy Ghost is given for strength, as he was given to the Apostles at Pentecost, that Christians may boldly confess the Name of Christ. Conc. Flor. Tertul. de bapt. Cypr. ep. 2. ad Donat. For our fuller perswasion of this, it will be necessary to consider that our Lord Christ promised to his Apostles after they had been baptized, that, When he went away, he would send them the holy Ghost to be their Comforter or strengthener, S. Iohn 16. 7. to make them able to bear witness of Christ, notwithstanding all the threats and terrors of men, S. John 15. 27. 16. 1, 2, 3. And Acts 1. 5. he promises them, that, Not many daies hence, they should receive the holy Ghost, or the power of the Holy Ghost, whereby they (that forsook him formerly and fled) should be henceforth emboldned and encouraged to bear witness to him all the World over, vers. 8. This promise was performed at Pentecost, Acts 2. 4. They were filled with the holy Ghost, and began to speak, and to bear witness of Christ with courage, verse 36.This very promise made to the Apostles formerly, and perform'd at Pentecost, belongs to every one of us that are baptized, Acts 2. 38. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the holy Ghost: For this promise of the holy Ghost fulfilled on us, verse 33. is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off. And what S. Peter here promises them, was fulfilled by him and the other Apostles; for by their prayer and imposition of hands, they received, after baptism, the holy Ghost, not only enabling them to speak miraculously, but also strengthening and comforting them inwardly, as he did the Apostles. For the same that was promised to the Apostles, belonged to them and their children, and was given by imposition of hands. Now that which was promised to the Apostles, was principally, ghostly strength and comfort, on which that gift of miracles was an attendant, as we have seen: this then is the principal effect of confirmation, the gift of the holy Ghost by way of eminence, Acts 2 38. Hence this phrase, Full of the holy Ghost, is interpreted by Scripture to be the same in effect with this, Full of ghostly courage and strength. Act. 4. 8. 31. They were all filled with the holy Ghost, and spake with boldness the word of the Lord, Acts 7. 55. and Acts 6. 5. Stephen full of faith and the holy Ghost, that is, full of faith and power, verse 8.
  4. This Office of Confirmation, as well as that of Baptism, is to continue in the Church as long as that shall be Militant here on earth. For S. Paul Heb. 6. 1, 2. joyns them together, calling them Fundamentals; and a Fundamental in one age is so in another. Besides we have seen that Confirmation was the means used by the Apostles, (and doubtless not without their Lords direction and guidance of his Spirit,) for conveying the holy Ghost the Comforter into persons baptized: and since that all ages have as much need of that ghostly strength as the age of the Apostles had, and that the promise of it belongs to us all, as well as to them, as formerly hath been proved; and since that we find no other means appointed instead of Confirmation, for the conveighing of the gift of the holy Ghost, then given by confirmation; it remains, that we conclude, that Confirmation is still to continue. And so the Church Catholick hath taught us both by her doctrine and practice: as may be seen by the quotations cited above.
  5. That Bishops, who succeed the Apostles, are to be the Ministers of this holy Rite hath been shewn above.

D. Or laying on of hands.] As the tongue is to the heart, such is the hand to the tongue, an interpreter: celere partes, saith the excellent orator, loguentem adjuvant, he (prope est ut dicam) ipse loquuntur. In demonstrandis personis atque locis adverbiorum atque pronominum obtinent vicem: “ other members do help the speaker, but the hands I almost say speak themselves: in demonstrating places and persons, they serve instead of adverbs and pronouns.” Adverbs for place, and pronouns for persons. So according to the ancient mode of renunciation in baptism, the party to be baptized was commanded, protensa manu, ὡς παρόντι, Satane renuntiare, “to renounce Satan, by stretching out his hand as to one present ;” where the protending of the hand towards the west, that quarter of the heaven whence darkness begins, the prince of darkness by this prosopopea was indigitated. So also, according to the universal mode of all nations, the hands in prayer are lifted up towards heaven, the place whither our prayers tend. So when our prayers are limited and restrained to any one peculiar thing or person, the manner is to lay the hand upon that object relative to the invocation. So the paternal benediction given by Jacob to the children of Joseph, was performed by “laying his hands upon their heads,” Gen. xlviii. 14. After the same manner also did persons of remarkable sanctity bless such infants as were upon that account brought to them, as our Saviour, Mark x.16. And in analogy, or resemblance of that practice, is the ceremony of imposition of hands in this office of Confirmation, whereby the Church, using the ministration of the venerable fathers, the bishops, invocateth the divine benediction upon her children, now entering their adult state and riper years.

TWO of the rubrics, which relate to this office, are printed at the end of the Catechism, which, till the last review, was rather a part of the order of Confirmation, than an office by itself; it being inserted between the rubrics relating to Confirmation, and the order for the administration of it.

I Rubric 1. The age of persons to be confirmed. The former of these rubrics is, in the first place, concerning the age of the persons to be confirmed, which it determines shall be as soon as children are come to a competent age, and can say, in their mother-tongue, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, and also can answer to the other questions of the Catechism. In the primitive Church indeed, such persons as were baptized in the presence of the Bishop, were immediately presented to him in order for Confirmation. Nor was this only true with respect to adult persons, but also with regard to infants, who, if a Bishop was present, were frequently confirmed immediately upon their Baptism; as may be shewed from direct testimonies of the ancients, as well as from that known usage or custom, of giving the holy Eucharist to infants, which ordinarily presupposes their confirmation. The same is practised by the Greek Church to this day. And in our own Church indeed, those who are baptized after they are come to years of discretion, are to be confirmed by the Bishop as soon after their baptism as conveniently may be. But in relation to children, their Confirmation is deferred, and with a great deal of reason, till they come to a competent age, and can say the Catechism. For it being required that at Confirmation they renew the vow that was made for them at their baptism, and ratify the same in their own persons; it is fit they should know and understand the nature of the obligation, before they bind themselves under it. Nor can any detriment arise to a child, by deferring its Confirmation to such an age; because, as our Church has declared, (on purpose to satisfy people that are scrupulous in this very matter,) it is certain by God’s word, that children which are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved. Their original sin is done away by Baptism, and they are confirmed and secured by death itself from any future guilt; so that no danger can ensue, if their Confirmation be deferred till such time as it can be of use.

Bucer indeed (who generally runs into extremes) finds fault with our Church for administering it too soon; and would have none admitted to this holy rite till such time as they have had an opportunity of giving sufficient testimonies of their faith and desire of living to God by their life and conversation. But we have already shewed, that the enabling persons to give such testimonies of their faith and practice is the end of Confirmation; and therefore surely Confirmation is to be administered, to assist them in manifesting their faith and practice, and not to be deferred till they are already manifested. For this reason it is very evidently the design of our Church, that children be confirmed before they have opportunities of being acquainted with sin; that so the Holy Spirit may take, early possession of their youthful hearts, and prevent those sins to which, without his assistance, the very tenderness of their age would be apt to expose them. It is highly expedient, that those who are confirmed should be old enough to understand the nature and advantages of the rite they are admitted to, and the obligations it lays upon them: and if they are duly apprized of this, they are deemed by our Church qualified enough. For they that are capable of this knowledge, are yet at years to discern between good and evil: and therefore that must be the proper time to secure them, by the invocation of the Spirit, in the paths of virtue. Accordingly, it was declared by the rubric prefixed to the order for Confirmation, in all the Common Prayer Books before the last review, That forasmuch as Confirmation is ministered to them that be baptized, that by imposition of hands and prayer they may receive strength and defence against all temptations to sin, and the assaults of the world and the devil; it is most meet to be ministered when children come to that age, that partly by the frailty of their own flesh, partly by the assaults of the world and the devil, they begin to be in danger to fall into sundry kinds of sin. The reason why this was not continued at the review in 1661, was not because the Church had altered her mind, but because the foregoing part of the rubric was changed into a proper preface, with which the office is now introduced.

§.2. Bishops the only Ministers of Confirmation. The next thing mentioned in this rubric, is the Minister of Confirmation, who, it declares, must be a Bishop; consonant to the first examples we read of it in the Acts, or proceedings of the Apostles themselves. For Peter and John were sent by them from Jerusalem to confirm the Samaritans, though Philip had been there to convert and baptize them: which plainly shews, that the office was beyond a deacon’s province, and limited indeed to the highest order of the Church. For which reason the honour of dispensing this holy ordinance was always reserved to the ministry of Bishops.

I have had occasion indeed to shew that the administering the chrism, or the unction which was used as a part of Confirmation, was often, for certain reasons, allowed to Presbyters. But even in such cases I have observed, that the right of consecrating the unction, and of imposing the hands, were both very strictly reserved to the Bishop. A few instances indeed may be produced of Presbyters, and even Deacons, being allowed to perform this office. But then it was by a special licence or commission from the Bishop, and in cases, for the most part, of some great extremity or danger. Though indeed the allowing this in any case whatever seems very much to run counter to the general practice and sense of the Church, which at all times and places very religiously looked upon the imposition of hands, as the peculiar and incommunicable prerogative of Bishops.

Who ought therefore to do it often. But then as the Bishops have the sole honour, so have they also the whole charge of this institution. And since it must be wholly omitted, if they do not perform it, the Church hath enjoined the frequent administration of it by those reverend fathers. In former ages (as our Church declares) this holy action has been acctistomed to be performed in the Bishop’s Visitation every third year: for which reason she wills and appoints, that every Bishop or his Suffragan, in his accustomed Visitation, do in his own person carefully observe the said custom. And if in that year, by reason of some infirmity, he be not able personally to visit, then he shall not omit the execution of that ditty of Confirmation the next year after, as he may conveniently: though the Reformatio Legum (as cited by Bishop Gibson) seems to appoint, that Confirmation be administered every year.

§.3. A godfather or godmother necessary at Confirmation. The remaining part of this rubric is concerning the godfather or godmother, which every one that is confirmed is obliged to have as a witness of their confirmation. Dr. Nichols tells us that “our wise reformers, because there was not the like reason for them as there was before the Reformation, and because it gave the parents an unnecessary trouble in procuring them, have laid that usage aside.” But one would wonder how the doctor should be so much mistaken, immediately after he must have printed and corrected this very rubric; and at the same time that, to account for the alteration, he cites the rubric immediately following. Nor can any reason be given, why the doctor should so freely charge the providing these godfathers as an unnecessary trouble. They are certainly as useful at the confirmation of a youth, as they are at the baptism of a person that is adult. In both cases they are witnesses of the engagements, which the persons so baptized or confirmed lay themselves under; and consequently, will be proper and continual monitors to check or reclaim them, should they at any time hereafter be tempted to abandon the interest of Christ, and take part with his enemies. And for the prevention of any one’s entering upon this trust, who will not be careful to discharge the duty of it, the Church provides, that no person be admitted godfather or godmother to any Child at Christening or Confirmation before the said person so undertaking hath received the holy Communion?

II. The Minister to prepare his parishioners for Confirmation. The next rubric relates to the care which the Curate of every parish is to use preparatory to Confirmation, who, whensoever the Bishop shall give knowledge for children to be brought unto him for their Confirmation, is either to bring or send in writing, with his hand subscribed thereunto, the names of all such persons within his parish, as he shall think fit to be presented to the Bishop to be confirmed. And by the sixty-first canon he is further enjoined to use his best endeavour to prepare and make able, and likewise to procure as many as he can, to be then brought; though he is also to take especial care that none be presented, but such as can render an account of their faiths according to the Catechism. When they are brought, if the Bishop approve of them, he is to confirm them in, manner following.

The Preface

I. Upon the day appointed, all that are to be then confirmed, being placed and standing in order before the Bishop, he (or some other Minister appointed by him) is to read the preface, with which the office begins, and which, as I have already hinted, was only a rubric in all the old Common Prayer Books; but at the last review was changed into a preface, to be directed to those that shall offer themselves to be confirmed; that so the Church might be sure they are apprized of the qualifications that are requisite to this holy ordinance, and of the solemn engagements under which they are going to enter themselves by it.

Upon the day appointed, all that are to be then confirmed, being placed, and standing in order, before the Bishop; he (or some other Minister appointed by him) shall read this Preface following.

Acts 8:14-17 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 14:26 What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

Renewal of Baptismal Vows

I. The first rubric and preface. Upon the day appointed, all that are to be then confirmed, being placed and standing in order before the Bishop, he (or some other Minister appointed by him) is to read the preface, with which the office begins, and which, as I have already hinted, was only a rubric in all the old Common Prayer Books; but at the last review was changed into a preface, to be directed to those that shall offer themselves to be confirmed; that so the Church might be sure they are apprized of the qualifications that are requisite to this holy ordinance, and of the solemn engagements under which they are going to enter themselves by it.

II. The question and answer. The end of Confirmation being thus made known, the Bishop in the next place, by a solemn question, (which was added at the last review,) demands of the candidates an assurance that they will comply with it: asking them, in the presence of God and the congregation, whether they will renew their baptismal vow, and ratify the same in their own persons, &c. To this every one to be confirmed, as a token of his assent, is audibly to answer, I do.

Then shall the Bishop say,

2 Kings 11:17 Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people, that they should be the Lord's people; also between the king and the people.
2 Kings 17:13-15 Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the law that I commanded your ancestors and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets." They would not listen but were stubborn, as their ancestors had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. They despised his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their ancestors, and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false; they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do as they did.
2 Chron 34:30-32 The king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin pledge themselves to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem acted according to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.
Matt 10:32 "Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven;
Mark 8:38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Luke 2:46-47 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Acts 2:38-42 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him." And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

And every one shall audibly answer, "I do."

The Confirmation

The Responses

The Office begins on this wise, Our help standeth in the Name of the Lord. Of such short ejaculations in general hath been said in the Morning Prayer; concerning these in particular, that they are fitted to the Office, will appear to them that consider, that Confirmation is appointed for the strengthning of us against all our ghostly enemies; which though they be many and great; yet is there no reason to despair of obtaining strength enough to resist them, for Our help stands in the Name of the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth: who is therefore able enough and willing also to help them that call upon his Name, Blessed therefore be the Name of the Lord hence forth and for ever.

III. The versicles and responses. After this follow two or three short versicles or responses betwixt the Bishop and the congregation, with which the order of Confirmation in all the old Common Prayer Books used to begin. They are a proper preparation to the following solemnity, are often used in ancient Liturgies, and are taken out of the Book of Psalms: though the last of them has been varied since the first book of king Edward, in which, in the room of it, was the usual salutation of, The Lord be with you: And with thy spirit.

Ps 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills-- from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Ps 124:8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Ps 146:5-6 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
Ps 106:48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. And let all the people say, "Amen." Praise the Lord!
Ps 113:2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time on and forevermore.
Ezek 3:12 Then the spirit lifted me up, and as the glory of the Lord rose from its place, I heard behind me the sound of loud rumbling;
Dan 2:29 To you, O king, as you lay in bed, came thoughts of what would be hereafter, and the revealer of mysteries disclosed to you what is to be.
2 Chron 30:27 Then the priests and the Levites stood up and blessed the people, and their voice was heard; their prayer came to his holy dwelling in heaven.
Ps 102:1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you.
Ps 130:1-2 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!

The Prayer

After these Versicles follows a Prayer, that God would strengthen the baptized, with the holy Ghost the Comforter, who had in their baptism received him as a Sanctifier. These two wayes, to omit others, we are taught in holy Scripture, that the holy Ghost may be received, as a sanctifier and cleanser in holy baptism, Tit. 3. 5. He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the holy Ghost: and after baptism we may receive him again as a Comforter and strengthener. The Apostles, who received him the first way in baptism, are promised to receive him the second; S. Iohn 16. 7. Acts 1. 8. which was performed Acts 2. 4. They were filled with the holy Ghost.

IV. The Collect. The Bishop and people having thus joined their requests, the Bishop, in the next place, proceeds alone to collect their petitions into a continued form; in which he prays that God, who had vouchsafed to regenerate the persons who now come to be confirmed, by Water and the Holy Ghost, and had given unto them forgiveness of all their sins, would now strengthen them with the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and daily increase in them the gifts of grace, viz. the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are transcribed into this prayer from the old Greek and Latin translations of Isaiah 11:2, and which were repeated in the very same words in the office of Confirmation, as long ago as St. Ambrose’s time: from whence, and the Greek Liturgy, this whole prayer is almost verbatim transcribed.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
1 Cor 6:11 And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Eph 4:32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Col 2:13 And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses,
Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven on account of his name.
Ps 68:28 Summon your might, O God; show your strength, O God, as you have done for us before.
Is 45:24 Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; all who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed.
John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
Eph 3:14-16 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit,
Col 1:11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully
1 Pet 5:10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
Ps 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Ps 119:28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Zech 10:12 I will make them strong in the Lord, and they shall walk in his name, says the Lord.
Jam 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
1 Cor 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
1 Cor 12:31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
Phil 1:9-11 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
Phil 3:13-14 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
Col 2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
Jam 1:17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
1 Pet 4:10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
2 Pet 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Gal 3:27 As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Eph 3:10 so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Jam 4:6 But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
Rev 5:6 Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
Deut 34:9 Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Ps 16:7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
Ps 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.
Ps 119:104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Prov 3:13 Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding,
Prov 8:14 I have good advice and sound wisdom; I have insight, I have strength.
Is 11:2 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Jer 3:15 I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Luke 1:80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
Rom 16:19 For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil.
Eph 1:16-18 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,
Eph 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
Eph 3:16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit,
Eph 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.
Jam 1:5 If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.
2 Pet 1:5-7 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.
Job 28:28 And he said to humankind, 'Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"
Ps 19:9 the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Ps 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
Prov 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Prov 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, so that one may avoid the snares of death.
Prov 19:23 The fear of the Lord is life indeed; filled with it one rests secure and suffers no harm.
Is 11:2-3 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;
Jer 32:40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them, never to draw back from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they may not turn from me.
Heb 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

The Laying on of Hands

Then shall the Bishop lay his hands upon them severally. By this sign certifying them of Gods Goodness towards them, and consigning it upon them. This is the most ancient and Apostolical Rite of Confirmation, Acts 8. 17. and by this name it is known, Heb. 6. 2. The doctrine of baptisms, and laying on of hands.

E. Then the bishop shall lay his hands upon, &c.] Our Saviour being near His ascension, having given His last charge and commission to the Apostles, tells them what should be the sequence of that faith which should result from their predication and doctrine: “in My name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover,” Mark xvi. 17, 18. Which miracles, though believers did afterward perform, yet were not those operations the mere results of faith, nor did they do them as believers, but the power enabling them thereto was conveyed to them by the gift of the Holy Ghost; which gift not only imported an extraordinary collation, upon new regenerated converts, of the invisible graces of God’s Spirit, confirming their faiths daily more and more, and assisting them in the exercise of a holy and sanctified life and conversation; but also in outward qualifications, suitable to the exigent of those times for the working of miracles. Nor were those believers to expect or receive those gifts by any other prayers or any other hands than of the Apostles, that the world might know God had a more than ordinary value for their function, and consequently would require the highest honour deferred to it ; upon this very account the Apostles, hearing that Samaria had received the word of God, and were baptized by Philip the evangelist, they sent Peter and John from Jerusalem to them “to pray for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost,” implying thereby, that though Philip had commission to baptize and preach, yet could he not give the Holy Ghost. And when Simon Magus perceived what strange feats were done by those believers, after such prayer and imposition of hands of those Apostles, he thinking it would prove a money matter, bade liberally for it, till he understood he was in the wrong.

And though in tract of time, and by degrees, whole nations being converted to the Christian faith, the main cause of those miracles ceasing, they themselves began to abate both in number and quality ; and so confirmation was not practised much upon that pretence; yet it being an Apostolical usage, and instituted also for another end, viz., an invocation of God’s inward sanctifying the person new baptized, by the grace of His Holy Spirit, a petition necessary at all times; the bishops succeeding the Apostles in the government of the Church, thought fit to continue it still, retaining it, as the Apostles did, to themselves alone, and not communicating it to any of the inferior clergy: qui in Ecclesia baptizantur prepositis Ecclesia offeruntur, saith Cyprian, “they who are baptized in the Church, are straightways presented to the presidents of the Church,” ut per nostram orationem ac manus impositionem Spiritum Sanctum consequantur, “that by our prayers and imposition of hands they may obtain the Holy Ghost.” The reason whereof is this; that whereas the bishop had condescended and delegated the power of baptizing to presbyters, which was originally resident in himself, as hath been said already, yet seeing requisite it was that God’s blessing should be implored upon those neophytes by them, and blessing is an act of paternal authority, it was convenient it should be reserved to himself, ad honorem sacerdotii, as St. Jerome saith, “in honour of his priestly superiority.” Other impositions of hands have been performed, some by presbyters and bishops indifferently, as that in receiving penitents to the peace of the Church, as that in consecrating of marriage; some by presbyters with bishops jointly, as that of ordination. But never any mere presbyter assumed this of confirmation, nor was it ever in the primitive Church permitted to any but to the bishop alone. To the contrary whereof, never was there produced any testimony authentic. Authentic, I say, for that Ambrose upon the Ephesians, whom some urge against it, is by the men who cite him confessed supposititious and a counterfeit.

But be he who they please, what says the man? Egypivn presbyteri consignant, si presens non sit episcopus ; ‘in Egypt the presbyters consign if the bishop be not present.” Now if consignant here should prove not to import confirming, this shadow of a father will stand them in little stead. And who dares positively say it? not Blondellus I am certain, and yet he would as gladly have it so as another, for he is put to his sive’s, “ either confirmation’, or blessing of penitents, or consecrating persons by ordination,” not knowing on which to fix. So that this, they know not who, speaks they know not what. And of all these sive’s which stand in competition, that of confirmation is least like to prevail; for the words are apud Aigyptum, “in Egypt.” Now in Egypt, and the patriarchdom of Alexandria, of all places in the world, presbyters were, for their fellow presbyter, Arius’s sake, in most disgrace; so as it was not allowed them in Alexandria, so much as to preach, and therefore they were the most unlikely to be indulged so great a favour as confirmation. Whence we may conclude, confirmation is not to be understood by consignation ; and if not, no matter to this dispute which of the other two carry it ; and if it were, yet is there odds against them too ; for a learned Doctor is positive, that neither blessing of penitents, nor consecrating of persons to be ordained, can rationally be meant in this place, but that consignant is equivalent to consecrant, and so hath reference to consecrating of the elements; which even Blondellus himself doth also elsewhere admit as probable, and the Doctor proves it by a parallel place of the same supposed author: in Alexandria, et per totam Aigyptum si desit episcopus consecrat presbyter; “in Alexandria, and all over Egypt, the presbyter consecrates in want of a bishop ;” where consignant in the former passage is changed into consecrant. And if both these pieces hath one father, be he Hilary, as some conjecture, or any other, the Doctor’s sense is passable enough: but if they were the issues of several persons, theu this author might intend somewhat more than hath hitherto been apprehended, and what the word consignare in his native and genuine sense imports, viz., chrismation, not confirmation. For though unction was more anciently annexed to, as a continued act with confirmation, yet at that moment of time when Ambrose or Hilary wrote, if this piece be theirs, it was abstracted and separated from imposition of hands, and (upon what account shall be seen anon) transmitted to presbyters. And because it was constantly applied with the sign of the cross, the joint act of both ceremonies was very properly called consigning, answering what the Greeks called σφραγίζειν τῷ μυρῷ , “to seal with unction.” And so this nameless author will be interpreted thus: “in Egypt, if the bishop be absent, the presbyters anoint the person baptized, signing him with the cross;” which was not only true in Egypt, but elsewhere also, as shall presently be made manifest ; which notwithstanding, the essential and perficient act of confirmation, viz. imposition of hands, was reserved as a peculiar of episcopacy.

Imposition of hands an essential rite in Confirmation. THE preparatory part of this office being now finished, and all of them in order kneeling before the Bishop, (which is a suitable posture for those that are to receive so great a blessing,) the Bishop is to lay his hand upon the head of every one severally. This is one of the most ancient ceremonies in the world; and has always been used to determine the blessing pronounced to those particular persons on whom the hands are laid; and to import that the persons, who thus lay on their hands, act and bless by divine authority. Thus Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasses, not as a parent only, but as a prophet: Moses laid his hands on Joshua, by express command from God, and as supreme Minister over his people: and thus our blessed Lord, whilst in the state of humiliation, laid his hands upon little children, and those that were sick with divers diseases, to bless and heal them. When indeed our Saviour gave the Spirit to his Apostles just before his ascension, he acted by a power paramount and inherent. He gave of his own, and therefore dispensed it with authority; for he breathed on them, and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. But now this would have been absurd in any that acted by appointment or delegation: and the Apostles, from so ancient a custom and universal a practice, continued the rite of imposition of hands for communicating the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, which was so constantly and regularly observed by them, that St. Paul calls the whole office laying on of hands; a name which is usually retained amongst the Latin Fathers; Confirmation being never administered for many centuries afterwards, in any part of the Church, without this ceremony.

A blow on the cheek used instead of it by the Church of Rome. It was the custom indeed, in some places, for the Bishop to lay both his hands across upon the head of the party confirmed, in allusion to our Saviou’s death upon the Cross, in whom we believe, and from whom we receive the Holy Ghost. But in no Church whatever was the imposition of hands omitted or discontinued till the Church of Home of late years laid it aside, and now uses in the stead of it to give the person confirmed a little blow on the cheek, to remind him that for the future he must be prepared to undergo any injury or affront for the name of Jesus. But, notwithstanding this, the Romanists themselves seem to be apprehensive, that imposition of hands is essential to this office. For whenever they are charged with laying it aside, they endeavour to defend themselves by pleading, that hands are imposed, when the person is hit on the cheek, or when the ointment is applied to him. But every body must see through the ridiculousness of this, since the hands are no otherwise concerned in either of these ceremonies, than as they cannot be performed without them. For this reason our Church, at the Reformation, wisely discontinued the blow on the cheek, and restored the ancient and apostolical use of laying on of hands.

§.2. Prayer another essential to Confirmation. But though the laying on of hands is a token that the Bishops act in this office by divine authority; yet at the same time, they sue to heaven for the blessing they bestow, in humble acknowledgment that the precious gifts hereby conferred are not the effect of their own power and holiness, but of the abundant mercy and favour of Him who is the only fountain of all goodness and grace. Under a due sense of this, even the Apostles themselves, when they laid their hands upon the Samaritans, prayed that they might receive the Holy Ghost. And after their example do their successors with us pray, that the person on whom they lay their hands may be defended with the heavenly grace of God, and continue his for every and daily increase in his holy Spirit more and more, until he come into his everlasting kingdom. Amen.

This form indeed is very different from what was appointed to be used by the first book of king Edward VI., in which immediately after the prayer, beginning. Almighty and everlasting God, the Minister was to use the following words:

Sign them, Lord, and mark them to be thine for ever, by the virtue of thy holy Cross and Passion, Confirm and strengthen them with the inward Unction of the Holy Ghost, mercifully unto everlasting life. Amen.

Then the Bishop was to cross them on the forehead, and lay his hand upon their heads, saying,

N. I sign thee with the sign of the Cross, and lay mine hand upon thee; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

These forms were certainly much more conformable to those that were used in the primitive Church, than that which we have now. What was the occasion of changing them, I do not find: though it is probable the first might be laid aside, because it referred to the ancient ceremony of anointing, which was discontinued at the Reformation, except the Unction, that was ordered by the first Liturgy to be used at Baptism, was accounted preparatory to Confirmation, which I have already shewed to be not unlikely. But however, in the second book of king Edward, the ceremony of anointing was thrown entirely aside, even out of the office of Baptism: and therefore it is probable they threw out this form at the same time, which indeed, if it had continued after the Unction was totally removed, would only have looked like the ruins of an ancient superstructure.

§.3. The use of Unction in Confirmation primitive and catholic. It must indeed be owned in behalf of this ceremony, that it was very ancient and very significant. Some contend that it was practised by the Apostles, and interpret the texts of Scripture referred to in the margin, of a material unction administered in Confirmation. But those texts have been better judged to mean a spiritual unction of the Holy Ghost, by which persons were in those days anointed or consecrated to the office of the ministry. However, it is certain, that within a very few years after the Apostles, the holy Fathers used to apply Oil and Balm to those that were confirmed, as an external sign of this inward unction of the Holy Spirit, and to represent the Baptism of the Apostles on the day of Pentecost with fire, of which oil we know is the properest material. Theophilus Antiochenus, who lived and flourished within seventy years of the Apostle St. John, and many others of the ancientest Fathers, speak of it as a rite long established and used; insomuch that it is to discover from them, whether it was of apostohcal practice or not. I need not shew that the use of it was continued in all parts of the Church, through every century, quite down to the Reformation: for this may he gathered from the very names by which they have always chose to distinguish this office, viz. the Anointing or Chrism, the same name which the Greek Church also uses for it till this day, as keeping religiously to the primitive usage.

§.4. As also the sign of the Cross. Another ancient ceremony retained by our Church at the first Reformation, (as appears by the rubric which I have cited above,) was the sign of the Cross. This was used (as I have already observed) by the primitive Christians, upon all occasions; and therefore we may assure ourselves, they would not omit it in so solemn an action as in that of Confirmation. Tertullian is clear for the use of it in his time; and in after-ages testimonies are so numerous, that it is endless to cite them. I shall therefore only observe, that the name Consignation (which was another name by which, it is well known, the Latin writers distinguish Confirmation) seems to have taken its rise from this ceremony of signing the person, at the time of Confirmation, with the sign of the Cross. And from hence too, it is probable, it is sometimes called Σφραγὶς by the Greeks, a name which they generally use to denote the sign of the Cross.

But now neither this nor the unction having any text of Scripture that is clear on their side; and since it cannot be made to appear that either of them was practised or used by the Apostles; we may reasonably suppose that they were taken up at first by the authority and discretion of every Church for itself; and that therefore every Church has liberty, as to herself, to lay them aside, since nothing appears essential to the office, but what we find the Apostles used, viz. Prayer accompanied with Imposition of Hands.

Then all of them in order kneeling before the Bishop, he shall lay his hand upon the head of every one severally, saying,

Num 6:24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
Ps 17:5 My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
Ps 17:8 Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
Ps 20:1 The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
Ps 48:14 that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will be our guide forever.
Ps 73:23-24 Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Ps 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Ps 119:94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.
Is 41:10 do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Is 49:2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away.
John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand.
Heb 3:14 For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.
John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
1 Cor 12:3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Let Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 12:13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Thess 3:12-13 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
1 Thess 5:23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Tim 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Pet 5:10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
Jude 24:25 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing,
Ps 92:12-15 The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap, showing that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Hos 14:5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.
Col 1:8-11 and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit. For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully

The Lord's Prayer

I. The Versicles and Lord's Prayer. AFTER the persons were all confirmed, it was usual for the Bishop, in the primitive Church, to salute them with peace, to denote that peace (both temporal and eternal) was the happy fruit of the Holy Ghost conferred and received in this solemnity. Accordingly, in king Edward’s first Common Prayer Book, the Bishop, immediately after he had laid his hands upon all that were brought and presented to him, was to say. The peace of the Lord abide with you: to which the answer returned was, And with thy spirit. What offence this was capable of giving I cannot discover; but it is certain that it was thrown out when Bucer revised it: though at the last review, soon after the Restoration, the usual salutation of, The Lord be with you, And with thy spirit, was added in the room of it, together with, Let us pray, and the Lord’s Prayer, which should not be left out of any office, especially where it comes in so properly; and therefore (all kneeling down) the Bishop is here directed to add it.

Then shall the Bishop say,

2 Thess 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.
2 Tim 4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

And (all kneeling down) the Bishop shall add,

Matt 6:9-13 "Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.

The Collects

First collect.

The Collect. After this, the Bishop, in the next place, prays that what he has done may not be an empty and insignificant sign. And this he does with so noble a mixture of humility and faith, as well agrees with the purest times. Depending upon the faith and promise of God, he knows that the graces he has now been conferring are as sure a consequence of the office he has performed, as if he had in himself a power to give them. But still he considers from whom these gifts and graces come, and who alone can preserve and secure them; and therefore, under a due sense of this, he makes his humble supplications, that, as he has now laid his hands upon these people (after the example of the Apostles) to certify them thereby of God’s favour and gracious goodness towards them; the fatherly hand of God may be over them, his Holy Spirit he ever with them, and so lead them in the knowledge and obedience of his word, that in the end they may obtain everlasting life.

1 Chron 29:14 "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.
Prov 16:1 The plans of the mind belong to mortals, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
Jer 10:23 I know, O Lord, that the way of human beings is not in their control, that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps.
Phil 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
1 Tim 5:4 If a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some repayment to their parents; for this is pleasing in God's sight.
Ps 110:3 Your people will offer themselves willingly on the day you lead your forces on the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning, like dew, your youth will come to you.
Jam 4:6 But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
Jam 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
2 Chron 6:21 And hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place; may you hear from heaven your dwelling place; hear and forgive.
Ps 106:4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people; help me when you deliver them;
Acts 6:6 They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
Acts 8:14-17 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 19:5-6 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied--
Eph 3:5 In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
Phil 4:19 And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
1 Tim 4:14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.
2 Tim 1:6-7 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
Ezra 8:22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and cavalry to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king that the hand of our God is gracious to all who seek him, but his power and his wrath are against all who forsake him.
Ps 103:13 As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
Ps 119:173 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
Ps 146:8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
Jer 31:9 With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Luke 11:10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Luke 11:13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand.
John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
2 Cor 6:17-18 Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
Ps 73:24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Ps 25:5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
Ps 119:11 I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.
Ps 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.
Matt 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
John 7:17 Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own.
Eph 1:15-19 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.
Eph 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
1 Thess 2:13 We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God's word, which is also at work in you believers.
1 Tim 6:13-14 In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 Tim 3:15 and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Jude 24-25 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
1 Cor 1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Heb 5:9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,
Heb 7:25 Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Heb 9:15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

Second collect.

III. The second Collect. And because the ancients believed Confirmation to be a preservation both of body and soul, an additional collect was added at the Restoration, from those that are placed at the end of the Communion-office, that God would direct, sanctify, and govern, both our souls and bodies in the ways of his laws, and in the works of his commandments, &c.

Ps 28:9 O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them forever.
Ps 119:5 O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
Ps 119:10 With my whole heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commandments.
Ps 119:35-40 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain. Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways. Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you. Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good. See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.
Prov 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Jer 10:23 I know, O Lord, that the way of human beings is not in their control, that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps.
Mic 7:14 Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock that belongs to you, which lives alone in a forest in the midst of a garden land; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old.
Hab 1:12 Are you not from of old, O Lord my God, my Holy One? You shall not die. O Lord, you have marked them for judgment; and you, O Rock, have established them for punishment.
John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
2 Cor 6:18 and I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
1 Thess 5:23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thess 3:5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Heb 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,"
Luke 1:6 Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.
1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Ps 16:1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
Ps 17:8 Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
Ps 27:5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
Ps 64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from the dread enemy.
Ps 86:2 Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;
Ps 89:13 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand.
Ps 89:18 For our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel.
John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand.
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Rom 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Tim 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Rom 8:28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
1 Cor 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Cor 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.
Gal 2:20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The Blessing

After a most excellent prayer for their continuance in Gods love, & obedience to him, the Bishop departs them with a Blessing. Of such blessings hath been said already.

I. And there shall be none admitted, &c.] The participation of the blessed Eucharist was anciently an immediate consequent of confirmation or baptism: his obluta plebs dives insignibus, ad Christi contendit altaria, dicens, et introibo ad Altare Dei, saith St. Ambrose, speaking of the white vestments; “the now baptized flesh, decked with this bravery, maketh hasteto the Altar of Christ, saying, And I will go up tothe Altar of God.”

It is here said, that none shall communicate until they can say their Catechism and be confirmed. But shall they be admitted to the Eucharist always when they can say their Catechism and have been confirmed? This rubric seemeth to imply as much; but then withal it may be interpreted to intend that confirmation be delayed until children come to years of better understanding, that is, nigh unto fourteen.

IV. The blessing. A blessing concludes all offices; and therefore one ought more especially to end this, it being as it were an epitome of the whole administration, which is but one continued and solemn benediction.

The Rubric. After all is added a rubric, that none he admitted to the holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed. This is exactly conformable to the practice of the primitive Church, which always ordered that Confirmation should precede the Eucharist, except there was extraordinary cause to the contrary: such as was the case of clinick baptism, of the absence of a Bishop, or the like; in which cases the Eucharist is allowed before Confirmation. The like provision (as I have already observed) is made by our own provincial Constitutions, as well as the rubric which is now before us, which admit none to communicate, unless in danger of death, but such as are confirmed, or at least have a reasonable impediment for not being confirmed. And the glossary allows no impediment to be reasonable, but the want of a Bishop near the place.

Then the Bishop shall bless them, saying thus,

Num 6:23-27 Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.
Ps 134:3 May the Lord, maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Eph 6:24 Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

And there shall none be admitted to the holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.