As defined in the Catechism in The Book of Common Prayer, page 860, “Confirmation is the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.” Most diocesan bishops offer the rite of Confirmation, and the accompanying rites of Reception and Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows, during visitations made to individual congregations.
When Bishop Wright announced his retirement, the question arose as to whether confirmations would have to wait for the next Bishop of Delaware to be elected and installed. In August 2016 the Standing Committee decided to arrange for a visiting bishop to come to Delaware in 2017, and announced that the Right Reverend Bud Shand, retired Bishop of Easton, would celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at two regional services during our “in-between time”. The dates, times, and places of these services have now been set.
The first Regional Confirmation Service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th, at Christ Church Christiana Hundred. Clergy or parish representatives should immediately contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they expect to present candidates at the service. Then, no-later-than May 15th, the names of persons to be confirmed, received, or reaffirmed must be reported to Mary Ann Brillhart in the Diocesan Office. This will facilitate the planning of the liturgy and reception, and allow for adequate time to prepare certificates for Bishop Shand’s signature.
Further details regarding the service, arrival time, where to gather, and the completion of parish record books will be disseminated in May through The Net and in direct communication with those congregations that have provided notification of their participation.
The second Regional Confirmation Service will take place at St. Peter’s Church, Lewes, at 4:00 p.m. on the afternoon of All Saints’ Sunday, November 5th. Information from congregations planning to participate in that service will be solicited later in the year.
On behalf of the Standing Committee,
The Rev. James M. Bimbi
Diocesan Liturgical Officer