Baptism Baptism is the foundation for all future church participation and ministry. It is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body, and the Church. God establishes an indissoluble bond with each person in Baptism. God adopts us, making us members of the church and inheritors of the Kingdom of God (BCP, pp. 298, 858).
In baptism we are made sharers in the new life of the Holy Spirit. During the baptismal rite the members of the congregation promise to do all they can to support the candidates for baptism in their life in Christ. The newly baptized is "sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own for ever." The Catechism notes that "Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God." The baptismal promises are made for infants by their parents or sponsors, "who guarantee that the infants will be brought up within the Church, to know Christ and be able to follow him" (BCP, pp. 858-859).
Confirmation Confirmation is the sacramental rite in which the candidates "express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop" (BCP, p. 860).
The Episcopal Church's theology of Confirmation has continued to evolve along with its understanding of baptism. Confirmation is no longer seen as the completion of Christian initiation, nor is Confirmation a prerequisite for receiving communion. Confirmation has been increasingly understood in terms of a mature, public reaffirmation of the Christian faith and the baptismal promises, and can include Reception from another denomination, and Reaffirmation of a new awakening or renewal of faith.