The act by which persons who were baptized as infants or young children (or, because of other special circumstances, could not make the baptismal vows themselves) make their first public statement of their declaration or profession of faith. In this sense they confirm their faith. Confirmation is performed in preparation for reception into full membership in The United Methodist Church. Persons who declared their faith in Christ for themselves at baptism are not confirmed inasmuch as they previously made their profession of faith when baptized.

Parents and church leaders often ask what age is most appropriate for young people to participate in confirmation. The issue is not so much about a chronological age, but rather about one’s readiness to assume the vows of professing membership.

At what age that happens varies among individuals and cultures.

Pastors sometimes invite family members to participate in the laying on of hands, a symbol of their continued support of the faith journey of their children. Photo by Linda Hall, Orchard United Methodist Church, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Pastors may invite family members and others to participate in confirmation,

a symbol of their continued support of the youth’s faith journey.

The ability to live into the vows is the key determining factor, not a particular birthday.
According to paragraph 217 of the Book of Discipline
the vows of professing members, including confirmands, are:
  1. To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of their sin;
  2. To accept the freedom and power God gives them to resist evil, injustice, and oppression;
  3. To confess Jesus Christ as Savior, put their whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as their Lord;
  4. To remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world;
  5. To be loyal to Christ through The United Methodist Church and do all in their power to strengthen its ministries;
  6. To faithfully participate in its ministries by their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness;
  7. To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.