Confirmation came a little late for my daughter. My husband and I were deployed to serve as missionaries in Jerusalem, which interrupted her final year of confirmation class. It took us a while to settle in before she could pick up where she had left off in the U.S. and complete confirmation at 16 years old.

Honestly, she didn’t seem to mind the delay and, with a bit of maturity under her belt, my daughter began to question whether she was willing to confirm her baptism.

Finally, she agreed to continue the affirmation rite. She walked to confirmation class in the Old City on Saturdays, challenged the pastor during class (so I’m told), chose a passage that had meaning for her and wrote a strong confirmation statement.

She professed to live among God’s faithful people; hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper; proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed; serve all people, following the example of Jesus; and strive for justice and peace in all the earth (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 236).

But we wondered how we would help her remember her confirmation. What we didn’t expect was that she had her own way of remembering her affirmation to God and the church. She asked for a tattoo of her confirmation Bible verse, Matthew 25:35, in Arabic. We agreed.

Confirmation is a spiritual formation that can be reflected on year after year, giving strength and guidance throughout the teen years. However, there are other ways that parents can help (younger confirmands, particularly) remember their confirmation without ink.

Practices

Here are a few ways to celebrate your child’s confirmation anniversary.

  • If your confirmand-to-be will deliver a statement of faith to your congregation, plan to record it. On the confirmation anniversary, listen to that recording together. You could also remind children of their confirmation by looking at photos from the day and reading their confirmation verses together.
  • If your child was not confirmed in the church you attend now, ask your pastor to lift up your child’s name during worship and prayer on their confirmation anniversary. A special hymn could be added in remembrance of a youth’s decision to renew participation in the life of the church. One of our favorites is “When Jesus Came to Jordan” (ELW, 305).
Adrainne Gray
Gray is an ELCA deacon and missionary who serves as communications coordinator with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

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