Queen Anne’s Pupils Attend Confirmation Service At Westminster Abbey

Friday 2nd May 2014

Westminster Abbey Confirmation ServiceOn Friday 2 May, members of the Queen Anne’s School community came together to celebrate the confirmation of 35 pupils at a Eucharist and Confirmation Service held at Westminster Abbey. The service was led by The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Richard Chartres KCVO, Lord Bishop of London and Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal.

Pupils from Westminster School, Westminster City School and The Grey Coat Hospital School also attended the hour-long service, which included baptism as well as confirmation.

The service formed the culmination of confirmation preparation classes completed by Queen Anne’s pupils under the guidance of the Reverend Graham Lunn, who is linked to the Church of St Mark in Reading.

The earliest form of the ceremony, which came to be called ‘confirmation’ (Latin “confirmation”, Greek “bebaiosis”) is to be found in the baptismal rites of Hippolytus (AD215) and Tertullian’s treatise “De Baptismo” (AD198). Both works attest a ceremony after baptism consisting of a prayer said by the bishop with his hands extended over the candidates, the anointing of the candidates on the forehead, the placing of the hand on the head of each and the sign of the cross on the forehead.

Today’s service is in many ways like the pattern of initiation that was used in the third century AD when whole families came to baptism. When confirmation is part of a combined rite including adult baptism, the confirmation element signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit following on from baptism in water. The biblical model for this is Christ’s own baptism in which, the gospels tell us, the Spirit descended on him when he came up out of the water after being baptised by St John the Baptist (St Matthew 3: 16 – 17, St Mark 1: 9 – 11, St Luke 3: 21 – 22, St John 1: 32 – 33).

Please see below for a selection of photographs from the service: