Convocational Service at Christ Church

Convocational Confirmation Service
By Brenda Keller
Posted May 18, 2013

A group photograph from the convocational service held at Christ Church on April 4, 2013.

On April 6th, 2013 Christ Church hosted the annual Southwestern Convocation confirmations at 4:00 p.m. Members and clergy from the Southwestern Convocation churches gathered with Bishop Benhase for a service of confirmation, baptism, and reaffirmation, followed by the Holy Eucharist. Fellowship followed with a reception in the parish hall to honor those participating in the service.

Ashley Drazdowski, a member of Christ Church, said after being confirmed that day, “I loved that Bishop Benhase made my confirmation experience a family experience by allowing family and friends to accompany me to the altar. The feeling that I was home was the thing that drew me to the Episcopal Church in the first place. Christ Church is a place where I feel comfortable, where I feel welcomed, and where I feel loved.”

The Southwestern Convocation is one of the six convocations within the Diocese of Georgia, and includes the ten Episcopal Churches in Bainbridge, Moultrie, Quitman, Thomasville, and Valdosta. Although Bishop Benhase also baptizes, confirms and receives people during his regular annual visitations to each of the individual churches within the Diocese, he also works in conjunction with the convocations deans to hold these area-wide services during the weeks after Easter, often on Saturdays. In 2012 St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Thomasville served as the host church for this service, and this year Christ Church was pleased to be able to serve as the host.

The service of Confirmation begins on page 423 of the Book of Common Prayer. The section below is on page 418.

Then the Bishop says

Almighty God, we thank you that by the death and
resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ you have overcome sin
and brought us to yourself, and that by the sealing of your
Holy Spirit you have bound us to your service. Renew in
these your servants the covenant you have made with them at their
Baptism. Send them forth in the power of that Spirit to
perform the service you set before them; through Jesus Christ
your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Confirmation

The Bishop lays hands upon each one and says

Strengthen, O Lord, your servant N. with your Holy Spirit;
empower him for your service; and sustain him all the days
of his life. Amen.

or this

Defend, O Lord, your servant N. with your heavenly grace,
that he may continue yours for ever, and daily increase in
your Holy Spirit more and more, until he comes to your
everlasting kingdom. Amen.

For Reception

N., we recognize you as a member of the one holy catholic
and apostolic Church, and we receive you into the fellowship
of this Communion. God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless, preserve, and keep you. Amen.