< Previous
Next >

2. Confirmation in connection with Baptism

Antiquities of the Christian Church
XV. Of Confirmation

2. Confirmation in connection with Baptism

Tertullian informs us, that the ceremonies of unction, and the imposition of hands, followed in immediate succession after baptism, together with the sacrament of the Lord's supper. The imposition of hands in immediate connection with baptism, is also implied in several passages in Cyprian;. in one of which he speaks of it as a sacrament, sacramentum, but he evidently uses the term with reference to the rite, or ceremony.

To cite passages from later writers in proof of the connection between baptism and confirmation would be quite superfluous. The baptism of adults being regarded as a solemn compact or covenant, confirmation might very naturally be expected to follow as the seal by which the covenant was ratified. For this reason, perhaps, it was administered, not by the baptizing priest or deacon, but by the bishop.

At the stated baptismal seasons the bishop was chiefly occupied with the rites of confirmation; but he sometimes administered also the rites of baptism and unction. When this ordinance was administered in the absence of the bishop, confirmation was solemnized at some convenient season afterward, either by the bishop, or by his representative. Accordingly confirmation was, at times, delayed for several years after baptism, especially in large dioceses; which were seldom visited, either on account of their great extent, or of the indolence and negligence of the bishop. ,

Even after the general introduction of infant baptism, confirmation immediately succeeded baptism. In the Oriental churches, baptism, confirmation, and the Lord's supper, are administered in immediate succession; which is strong evidence that such was the ancient custom. 

The permanent separation of the rites of confirmation from those of baptism cannot probably be assigned to an earlier date than the thirteenth century.

De Bapt. c. 7. 8: De Resurrec. cam. c. 8.

Sent, Episcoporum, 87: De Haereticis baptizandis: Opp. 72. ad Steph.

Cyrill. Hieros. Catech. Mysiag. 3. 1: Const. Apost. lib. vii. c. 43. 44: Optat. Milen. de Schism. Donat. lib. iv.

Binghanj, bk. ii. c, 1. § 1. 2: Gennad. De Dogmat.: Jo. Dalleus. lib. iii.e. 13: Eccles. c. 52.


search 🔍



privacy policy