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Confirmation

When the Candidates for Confirmation are found to have the required Christian knor edge, as prescribed by the Synod and set forth in its accepted Catechism and Bible History, the Minister shall fix a day for their examination, which, in the presence of the congregation, shall precede the first Communion. Notice of this should be given from the pulpit to the effect that the Candidates for Confirmation will on a stated day be examined and make their pows. Moreover, the members of the congregation, especially the parents, foster parents or guardians, should be requested to be present, prayerfully to support the children on this solemn occasion and themselves be edified by this Christian rite. On the appointed day the Candidates assemble around the Altar, and the Service begins with the singing of a Hymn. At the close of the Hymn the Minister shall give a brief address* from the Altar, after which the examination begins. This should be so arranged that the essential parts of the doctrine of salvation are treated. Thereupon the Minister shall address the Candidates as follows:

Beloved in the Lord, you have now given a brief account of your knowl. edge in the doctrine which our Lord Jesus Christ has revealed to us in His Holy Word and which is preached and confessed in His Church. This is also the faith into which you have been baptized. I exhort you now before God and this Christian Church to confess your faith and make your vows:

Do you believe in God the Father Almighty?

Answer:

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

Answer:

I believe in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate; Was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

When an Anthem is sung by the Choir it should follow the address.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?
Answer:

I believe in the Holy Spirit; The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the Life everlasting.

Is it your earnest purpose, by virtue of the grace of baptism, to remain steadfast in this faith unto the end, and, as followers of Christ, to walk by faith in a new life, so as to love the Lord your God above all things and your neighbor as yourselves?

Answer:

Yes.

Will you, therefore, by the help of God, in watchfulness and prayer, diligently use the Word of God and faithfully seek your Saviour in His Holy Supper?

Answer:

Yes.

Will you also shun all false doctrines and be faithful to the Word of God according to our Evangelical Lutheran Confession?

Answer:

Yes.

Then shall the Minister say:

Dearly Beloved! You have now, before the omniscient and everpresent God, with your own lips confessed your faith and made your vows, and I hereby declare that you are admitted to the Holy Supper of the Lord, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord grant you His grace to consecrate your whole life and all your powers to His will and service in Christ Jesus.

Here the Candidates are to kneel, and the Minister continues;

The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ grant you according to the riches of His glory, that you may be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man, and be filled unto all the fulness of God. Amen.

The Minister, still facing the Candidates, shall kneel and pray with them:

Our Father, Who art in Heaven: Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come: Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Then shall the Minister rise and say:

Let us unite in faithful prayer for these children (persons).

The Minister shall turn to the Altar and pray:

Almighty, Merciful God, Heavenly Father, Thou art the Author and Perfecter of all that is good within us. We

e pray Thee for these Thy servants who have been born again in baptism, and who through Thy Word are enabled to confess before this congregation Thy grace and love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Fulfill this good work which Thou hast begun in them. Teach their hearts more and more to know the preciousness of the salvation which Thine Only-Begotten Son hath secured for them. They are weak; do Thou strengthen them with Thy power. They are to pass through a world of danger; do Thou shield them with Thy might. They are exposed to temptations; do Thou help them to fight and to prevail. Give them the grace of Thy Holy Spirit for a blessed communion with Thee in Thy Holy Supper. Help them to confess Thy Name boldly before the world in word and in deed. Help them to watch and pray at all times, and, with Thy faithful people, confidently to await the coming of Thy dear Son, finally with Him to obtain eternal life. Amen.

If the laying on of hands is used, the Minister shall place his hand upon the head of each Candidate and pronounce a suitable Scriptural Benediction. Then the Minister, turning to the Congregation, shall say:

Bow your hearts to God and receive the Benediction.

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Minister shall turn to the Altar, and the Class shall stand, while the Congregation sings:

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The Service shall close with silent prayer, while the Congregation remains standing and the Minister kneels before the Altar.

The Solemnization of Marriage

The order as here given is to be followed when one ring is used. Instruction as to the procedure when two rings are used or when no ring is used will be found in the footnotes. When a marriage contracted before the civil authorities is to be sanctioned by the Church, this ceremony is used with the omission of the pledges and vows.

The Minister shall first give this exhortation:
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Dearly Beloved! Marriage is a holy estate instituted of God Himself for the preservation of the human family, and for the mutual help of those who enter into this sacred bond, to lighten the burdens of life, to alleviate its unavoidable cares, and by careful nurture to provide for the happiness of posterity. This is a holy institution; its obligations and objects are likewise holy.

It is the duty of the husband to love and honor his wife, and by careful consideration for her welfare ever seek to deepen her love for him. It is the duty of the wife to love her husband, share with him tenderly and faithfully the cares of the household, and at all times so conduct herself as to be his true help. meet. They should both carefully consider that they have entered into an estate in which their mutual happiness is dependent upon fidelity to their marriage vows; and, by due regard to their persons and their duties, they should seek to make themselves worthy of mutual esteem and love, and always set for each other a good example in a godly life. Wherefore it behooves them to pray earnestly for a virtuous helpmeet who appreciates the duties of the marriage estate as well as the blessedness which comes from fulfilling them. So shall the marriage begin and continue according to the will of God, and the highest happiness be thereby secured. To this end we pray Almighty God for His blessing on this Man and this Woman.

The Minister shall then say to the Man:

Before the omniscient God and in the presence of this Congregation (these witnesses), I ask thee, N. N., wilt thou have N. N., to be thy wedded wife, to love her in prosperity and in adversity?

Answer:
I will.
Then shall the Minister say to the Woman:

Before the omniscient God and in the presence of this Congregation (these witnesses), I ask thee, N. N., wilt thou have N, N., to be thy wedded husband, to love him in prosperity and in adversity?

Anuer:
I will.

The Minister shall then receive the ring from the Man (or, if two rings be used, the rings from the Man and from the Woman) and pray:

Almighty God, Who with a holy, wise and beneficent purpose hast instituted marriage: We pray Thee to let Thy blessing rest upon the solemn covenant which these Thy servants with this emblem (these emblems) seal before Thee. Fulfill upon them the promises which Thou hast given to all who live according to Thy Word and who keep the obligations which Thou hast ordained for the welfare of mankind. Amen.

*

The Man shall then receive the ring (which shall be held by both the Man and the Woman untü the vows of both have been made), and the Man shall say:

***

I, N. N., take thee, N. N., to be my wedded wife, to love thee in prosperity and in adversity, and as a token thereof I give thee this ring.

The Woman shall say:

I, N. N., take thee, N. N., to be my wedded husband, to love thee in prosperity and in adversity, and as a token thereof I receive this ring.

The Man then places the ring on the fourth finger of the Woman's left hand, while the Minister says:

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Forasmuch as ye now have been joined in holy wedlock, I, as a servant of Jesus Christ, before God and this Christian Congregation (these witnesses) confirm your marriage covenant in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

* If the marriage ring has been given beforehand, the Minister shall say "have sealed." At the close of the prayer the Man shall place the ring on the fourth finger of the Woman's left hand. When the ring ceremony is not used, the words "with this emblem" ("these emblems") are omitted from the prayer.

** When two rings are used, the ceremony shall proceed as follows: The Minister shall instruct the Man and the Woman to hold the ring for the Woman. While they do this, the Man shall repeat the following words after the Minister:

I, N. N., take thee, N. N., to be my wedded wife, to love thee in prosperity and in adversity, and as an emblem thereof I give thee this ring.

The Man shall then place the ring on the fourth finger of the Woman's left hand.

Then the Minister shall instruct the Man and the Woman to hold the ring for the Man. While they do this, the Woman shall repeat the following words after the Minister:

I, N. N., take thee, N. N., to be my wedded husband, to love thee in prosperity and in adversity, and as an emblem thereof I give thee this ring.

The Woman shall then place the ring on the fourth finger of the Man's left hand.

When these vows have been made, the Man with his right hand shall take the Woman by her right hand, and the Minister shall say: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

"Forasmuch as ye now have," etc. The ceremony shall then continue as above.

Note: When no ring is used the Minister shall cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by ber right hand and they shall then repeat the marriage vows as above (without referring to the ring) while they hold each other's hands, after which the Minister shall say:

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen,
"Forasmuch as ye now have," etc.
The ceremony shall then continue as above.

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