The Confirmation process at Trinity Lime Rock:
Most of our Confirmands begin
the process of preparation via Sunday School attendance. While in
Sunday School they not only are
introduced to the tenets of their faith, but they also serve as
participate in our Christmas Pageants and other dramatic and musical
presentations, learn to take important roles in
worship on our Youth Sundays, and participate in outreach activities.
But this is not true of all of our Confirmands.
The first we see of some of our young people is at the beginning in the school year in which they
are to be confirmed. Some of them come to us while they are boarding students at
nearby Indian Mountain School
or Hotchkiss and are living away from home during ages typical for
confirmation. Others are new to the area. Still others who may have
been involved in another faith community (or in no faith community at all) find
that an awareness or questioning of their place in the universe brings them to
investigate Confirmation at Trinity. Some just come because their friends
When our young people enter the year in which they will turn 13
or are in the 7th grade in school, the
process of preparation accelerates. That year, often -- but not always -- beginning in the Fall, they
join a Confirmation class, jointly instructed by a dedicated parishioner and
Trinity's clergy, that meets outside "normal church hours" weekly until
Confirmation takes place in the Spring; perhaps that year, or perhaps a year or
two after that. Not all begin at age 13; increasingly we find that
young people are in their middle teens when they undertake preparation for Confirmation.
They are a bit more mature at this point, and better able to understand and
relate to the material at this point in their lives.
Interestingly, not all members of our
Confirmation classes have been baptized as infants, or, in some cases, at all. While the actual rite of Confirmation has baptism as a
prerequisite (Baptism in any Christian faith is accepted, not just the
Episcopal church), having not been baptized as an infant or child
is no barrier to Confirmation class membership. In fact, for
two recent consecutive years we baptized a Confirmation class member
during their Confirmation class membership year, one of them on the
morning of her Confirmation!
Some years the class meets on a weekday evening, and other
years the meeting is on the weekend. Scheduling depends on the
needs of the Confirmands -- some of whom may well be here only on weekends, all have school
schedules to consider (which typically vary widely between our local Region I
schools, local private schools such as Indian Mountain School and Hotchkiss, and both public
and private schools in New York
City), and many have compelling obligations outside church -- and the availability of
the instructors. Thus, the schedule changes from class to class, from year to year,
and even within the same confirmation year.
Actual Confirmation generally takes place in the
Spring. In some years, we participate in a Deanery-wide confirmation.
More recently we have joined with other parishes in our area to hold a
confirmation. In a new Diocesan policy, confirmation may be performed at
the confirmand's home parish during the scheduled Episcopal visitation.
All of these approaches have benefits and disadvantages, and which we will do in
a particular year depends on a variety of factors, not the least important of
which is the preference of the confirmands themselves.
For the most recent confirmation class,
actual Confirmation took place May 22, 2010 and was held at
St. John's Church in Salisbury. Trinity had three members confirmed at