In doing some shuffling of stuff from place to place in our condo in preparation for painting, Jonnie Sue ran across the certificate of confirmation of her father, at the age of 58, by Bishop John Hines, at St. George’s Church, in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1959.
The certificate has printed on the back “Suggestions to help one who has been confirmed.” The confirmation cards currently in use in the Diocese of Washington have no such Suggestions. Different diocese use different cards. Whether any at all provide these or similar suggestions I do not know. They bear repeating, perhaps printing and keeping with your own confirmation certificate, and possibly framing.
Herewith are the
SUGGESTIONS TO HELP ONE WHO HAS BEEN CONFIRMED
1. Never neglect your Prayers, Morning or Evening.
2. Examine yourself carefully as to your thoughts, and manner of life, at all events once in the week.
3. Read every day, and think over, at least a few verses of the Bible or of some book of Devotions; before you begin, ask GOD to bless you in what you are going to read.
4. Come to Church every Sunday; and at other times as you have opportunity. Take care not to be late; kneel when you ought to. Join heartily in the service; that is, say the Responses and Amens distinctly and reverently and take part in the singing if able. Avoid all talking in Church.
5. Come often to Holy Communion (never without earnest prayer and careful self-examination) bearing in mind your Lord’s command. “Do this in remembrance of Me.” To neglect the sacraments is disobedience and ingratitude to him, and loss and danger to your own soul.
6. Let no one persuade you to neglect the services of the Church or to be led into schism.
7. Avoid religious disputes and idle gossip; try to think and speak kindly of everyone.
8. Watch and pray against all impurity in thought and word and deed. Keep from all places and company in which you are likely to be tempted.
9. Always be strictly honest and truthful, and do your duty wherever you are as “a servant of Christ.”
10 Do your best to help others by your example, your influence, your prayers.
11. Try to do some special work for God in His Church.
If you have any difficulty about these Suggestions, go at once to your Priest for advice.
My poor powers of comment could only detract from them, so I close with nothing more than this reminder from St. Peter in his first letter to the elect exiles of the dispersion “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith…”
Ron Hicks, Parish Verger, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Washington DC, 10-June-2014.