Baptism vs Confirmation
Religion provides a basis upon which human beings can build their faith. Throughout history, there have been times when a single religion has been divided into subsection so as to suit the personal beliefs of its followers. When speaking of religion, one cannot remain without discussing the various practices that are linked to it. Baptism and confirmation are two such practices that are linked to Christianity throughout time.
What is Baptism?
Baptism can be defined as a rite of adoption and admission practiced in Christianity using water, a rite of which the origin can be traced to the canonical gospels that state that Jesus was baptized. It is also referred to as a sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ while it is also referred to as christening in certain denominations. However, in most, the term christening is reserved for the baptism of infants.
Among early Christians, the usual form of baptism had been either total or partial immersion of the person in the water. However, today, the most popular form of baptism is referred to as affusion which involves the pouring of water three times upon the forehead.
Certain Christians such as the Quakers, Christian Scientists, the Unitarians and the Salvation Army consider baptism to be unnecessary and do not practice it anymore. Among those who do practice the rite, many variations exist as well as some baptize in Jesus’ name only while others baptize “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
What is Confirmation?
Confirmation in certain Christian denominations can be defined as a rite of initiation that is carried out through prayer, the laying of hands or anointing, with the aim of bestowing the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Confirmation is viewed as the sealing of the covenant created in Holy Baptism while in certain denominations, confirmation bestows upon the recipient the full membership in a local congregation. In others, it is said that confirmation “renders the bond with the Church more perfect” as a baptised member is already considered a member.
Among those who view confirmation as a sacrament, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox Churches are prominent. While, in the East, confirmation is conferred immediately after baptism, in the West, it is done when an adult is baptized.
What is the difference between Baptism and Confirmation?
Baptism and confirmation are two practices utilized in Christianity, and are both viewed as rites of initiation. However, the two terms cannot be used interchangeably as they are both unique practices that have individual significance.
• Baptism is usually performed on infants. Confirmation is a rite that follows baptism and is usually performed on adults.
• Baptism is performed via water, which implicates that the person is cleansed of all sin and reborn and sanctified in Christ. Confirmation is performed through prayer, anointing and laying of hands which strengthen the faith of those who are already baptized.
• Baptism, according to Catholicism, is considered to be strictly necessary for salvation. Confirmation is not considered to be strictly necessary for salvation according to Catholicism, though it is considered to be necessary for Christian perfection.