So I see in the press recently that Kate Middleton has been confirmed. Of course there are the usual grumpy old men telling us that “she did it more for convenience than from conviction”. As a late 20s woman approaching confirmation myself, I think it’s great to see examples of others taking on their faith in the public eye.
Faith is, ultimately, a personal thing. However, part of my understanding of confirmation is that it makes a personal faith into a public declaration – much as marriage is a public sacrament. It’s you as an individual standing up and declaring your faith before witnesses, showing them, before God, what is of value in your life. Probably the aspect of confirmation that I’m most nervous about is standing up in front of dear friends and making a proclamation of faith, and a proclamation that I will follow God’s ways, not my own. There’s no going back – they’ve heard me say it, and now I have to live it. Not that I’m unwilling to – don’t misunderstand me here – but making those promises takes on a whole new value when they’re made in church, in front of a congregation, as opposed to privately in my own prayers.
That said, I am hugely looking forward to being confirmed. It marks something important for me: there is power in standing before the bishop, my vicar, my church family, my friends, my family and saying, yes. Yes, this is what I believe. Yes, this is what I choose to follow. Yes, this is where my life is now. Following in God’s footsteps, not the world’s.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better place to be. And I pray that that would continue to be the reality, for all those preparing for confirmation or recently confirmed – including Miss. Middleton.