Confirmation classes are comprised of a two-year program, including instruction in Bible, the Small Catechism, prayer, service, and faith practice. At the conclusion of the two-year course, confirmands will be asked to Affirm their Baptism in the context of Sunday worship.
What is ‘confirmation’ anyway? It’s not becoming a church member. A confirmand is already a member of Christ’s Body, the Church, by virtue of baptism. It is also not a separate sacrament in our tradition. Chrismation in many Lutheran churches happens at baptism, when following the baptism itself, the pastor makes the sign of the cross with oil on the forehead of the one being baptized, saying, “Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” And so, we believe that we are gifted with the promises of the Holy Spirit at baptism. Lutheran confirmation is also not “graduation from church” or a hoop to jump through because you reach a certain age. It is a beginning! It is meant to be faith renewal together in preparation for being able to take on more responsibility as a church member.
Confirmation, therefore, is simply receiving instruction in the fundamentals of the faith (i.e. learning what it is to be a Christian, and specifically, what it means to be a Lutheran Christian), allowing each individual child of God to affirm their baptism publicly. Perhaps the best way to describe it is “Baptismal Affirmation” because the end of this program is not a “graduation” but a chance to publicly declare faith in the promises of God, thereby affirming one’s baptism. When an individual does this upon completion of instruction, she or he is then a confirmed, voting member of the congregation.