Lavelle: “I know that in the Coptic Orthodox church, babies are baptized, given communion, and confirmed all at the same time. Is that the same in Greek Orthodox?”
Lavelle: “Which is interesting, because, like, how can you be confirmed when you haven’t even—you don’t even have full awareness of–”
Informant: “It’s not really you’re getting confirmed, um, that’s just a word that we apply to it because that’s what other people understand because they understand being confirmed in, like, the Catholic Church, so there’s – it’s not technically like you walk away being, like, you’re not, like, oh now you’re confirmed, now you’re this, now you’re that, um, it’s just sort of— that’s the only thing you have to do. And it’s more, it’s not so much of a sign of, like, I’ve accepted the beliefs and that type of thing, it’s more of a sign of, like, God accepted you and you don’t have to do anything else. Like, I mean, obviously like live a good life, believe, that type of thing, um, but it’s more of, like, I don’t have to work for it, um, and I’m just accepted anyway. That’s the idea. So it’s not really like you’re getting confirmed. Um. It’s just a word that we apply to it because that’s what, um, Catholics understand.”
My informant is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, a faith she inherited from her mother’s family. My informant is well versed on the practices in the Catholic Church as she attended a Catholic high school.
This information about an important initiation ceremony in the Greek Orthodox was collected unintentionally. While my informant was discussing other traditions in the Orthodox church, I interrupted her to clarify a fact I remembered from previous interactions with the Coptic church. My informant provided a very interesting explanation of what the Orthodox calls ‘confirmation.’ The contrast between this practice and the practice in the Catholic church is much greater than I realized.
To read more about the sacraments in the Greek Orthodox Church:
Confirmation in the Catholic church is a rather extensive process and often involves classes and community service. Young Catholics are often confirmed between the ages of 13-17 in a traditional ceremony during a Catholic mass.
To read more about confirmation in the Catholic church: