Confirmation is a rite of initiation in Christian churches,(although in the Church of England and similar denominations it can be simply viewed as a reinstating of one's beliefs) normally carried out through anointing and/or the laying on of hands and prayer for the purpose of bestowing the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
There is an analogous ceremony also called confirmation in Reform Judaism, the most theologically liberal denomination within Judaism.
Within Christianity, confirmation is seen as the sealing of the covenant made in Holy Baptism. In some denominations, confirmation also bestows full membership in a local congregation upon the recipient. In others, such as the Roman Catholic Church, confirmation "renders the bond with the Church more perfect", because a baptized person is already a full member.
Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and many Anglicans view Confirmation as a sacrament. In the East it is conferred immediately after baptism. In the West, this practice is followed when adults are baptized, but in the case of infants not in danger of death it is administered, ordinarily by a bishop, only when the child reaches the age of reason or early adolescence. Among those Catholics who practice teen-aged confirmation, the practice may be perceived, secondarily, as a "coming of age" rite.
In Protestant churches, the rite tends to be seen rather as a mature statement of faith by an already baptised person. It is also required by most Protestant denominations for membership in the respective church, in particular for traditional Protestant churches. In traditional Protestant churches (Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran etc.) it is recognized by a coming of age ceremony. Confirmation is not practised in Baptist, Anabaptist and other groups that teach believer's baptism.
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