When attending a Confirmation Service from within the congregation I’m always struck by the sense of belonging and the pride of being a genuine part of the proceedings when witnessing and praying for the individuals who have chosen their faith.
It is a good feeling enhanced by the grand sense of occasion- where else can one worship alongside such a senior Bishop resplendent on his colourful symbolic finery as he welcomes the newest converts to his See? The assembled relatives, friends and supporters of the candidates were all beaming with pride and genuine goodwill as their young Christian adherents faithfully swore the age-old oaths; the service had a wonderfully worded familiarity and sense of fulfilment for all we participants.
Brian’s organ playing was glorious and airy, his rendition of the Bach piano piece sublime and contemplative. The walls of the church, where local villagers have affirmed their faith, for over a thousand years, seemed to be attune to the prayers and music of the occasion.
Each of the young candidates were each enthusiastic about path they were embarking upon and, as Bishop Paul spoke of within his profound yet relaxed and articulate sermon; who knows what the eventual vocations of the various Kirkups and Pooles will reveal? He certainly seemed happy to celebrate the Confirmation (something he could never have officiated if as he stated, had he become an Accountant or a Policeman) as were all we witnesses. The clapping at their achievement was heartfelt and loud.
It was a lovely Service full of real joy and optimism being shared by all. Music, prayer, reflection and the joy of being able to share is a religious tradition which will never be bettered especially on such a memorable Sunday Gainford morning. “Then sang my soul……”
– Mark Samuelson Sun 27th June 2021