Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Confirmation, the act of making a thing valid, a ratification. We speak of the confirmation of a treaty, of an appointment, of a rumour. In an ecclesiastical sense it signifies the laying-on of hands by a bishop upon a baptised person, being looked on in some churches as a Sacrament, by others as a pious practice. In the Eastern Church the rite is administered immediately after baptism, in the Western it is delayed for a certain number of years, the general test of fitness being the knowledge upon the part of the candidate of the responsibilities which he undertakes. In the English Church the age at which the rite is administered depends in a great measure upon the opinion of the officiating prelate, but the general tendency is to confirm at an earlier age than in the early part of the present century. Confirmation in the Church of England, though a usual, is not an indispensable preliminary to Communion.