Professing our Faith: The Rites of Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation

On September 10, 2023, our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, will join us for worship. The Bishop’s Visit is traditionally a time when we offer parishioners the opportunity to deepen their connection to the Church and profess their faith through Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation. We will be offering a preparatory class on three consecutive Wednesday evenings (August 23rd, August 30th, and September 6th) at 7pm in the church library, for anyone interested in receiving one of these rites. If you’d like to sign up for the class, or have questions, please contact Associate Rector, Rev. Nancy Ross ( or Debie Thomas , Minister of Lifelong Formation (, before August 20th.

Here is some information about each:

Baptism: Baptism is the ancient rite of entry into the Church, which is also called “the Body of Christ.” In Baptism, we affirm that we belong to the God who is made known to us in Jesus, and we promise (or, promises are made for us, if we are infants) to live our lives in accordance with this deepest truth about who we are and whose we are.

Confirmation:  Confirmation in the Episcopal Church is a sacramental rite in which a baptized person makes a mature and public affirmation of the promises that are normally made at Baptism. After making these affirmations, a bishop in apostolic succession lays hands on the candidate and prays a prayer of confirmation.

Reception: In some dioceses, Reception is reserved for those who have already been Confirmed in another denomination by a bishop in apostolic succession (Roman Catholics, Orthodox, etc). A more widely accepted understanding of Reception is that it is a way of honoring anyone who has made a mature confession of faith in any other denomination by saying, in effect, we recognize and honor your spiritual journey in another fellowship, and we welcome you into the fellowship of the Episcopal Church, as you continue that journey. The bishop lays hands on the person being received and says, “We recognize you as a member of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church, and we receive you into the fellowship of this Communion” (BCP, p. 418).

Reaffirmation: Reaffirmation is for people who are already Confirmed in the Episcopal Church. Some people presented to the bishop during the service of Confirmation are there to “reaffirm” their Christian vows. These might be people who have been away from the church for a period of time and want to make a new beginning. Others might be people who sense that they are at a new stage in their spiritual life and want to affirm this in ritual.

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_printSend to Print