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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
We will have a once-a-year Confirmation Service next weekend. It will be a special and memorable service for those receiving prayers through the laying on of hands from our bishops. It is a service affirming the faith of our brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus and also praying for the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon them.
I often explain why Confirmation Service is important to all believers. Firstly, it is a service where the candidates publicly declare their personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They stand before God and God’s people testifying their commitment to follow our Lord Jesus for the rest of their lives. They will renew their baptismal vows before God and also pledge to be faithful to the end. This is especially true to those baptised when they were infants or young children. In Confirmation, they would now “take upon themselves the Christian faith and vows their parents made on behalf of them”.
Secondly, it is a service where bishops pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon them. No Christian is able to faithfully journey to the end with his/her own strength. All believers need the strength and protection of the Holy Spirit. Through the laying on of hands, the bishops pray for the candidates the following prayer: “Defend, O Lord, these Your servants with Your heavenly grace; that they may continue Yours for ever; and daily increase in Your Holy Spirit more and more, until they come into Your everlasting kingdom.”
Thirdly, it is a service where the candidates become full members of the Anglican Church. They would enjoy the ministries and pastoral care accorded to all members of the Anglican Church worldwide. For members above 18 years old, they are also eligible to vote and be nominated/elected into church councils.
We are grateful that we will have 92 members to be confirmed next weekend. We are also thankful that Bishop Melter Tais and family will be here with us. Let us pray for both bishops and all confirmation candidates.
Bishop John Yeo