The Right Reverend Dena Harrison, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Texas, will be with us on Sunday, September 17th, at the 10:30 service. All four bishops in our diocese spend much of their time with congregations throughout the diocese in order to provide whatever support and guidance the parishioners and clergy need, and to maintain connections between the various parishes of our far-flung diocese. While here, Bishop Dena will preside and preach at the Eucharist, as well as administer the sacrament of Confirmation and preside at the rites of Reception and Reaffirmation of Faith (BCP, pages 412-419) for participants in the Discovery Class.
The sacrament of Confirmation is a mature, public reaffirmation of the Christian faith and of the promises made at one's baptism. It is administered by a bishop because bishops serve as symbols of the wider Church and its continuity throughout the centuries. Confirmations performed in most other Christian traditions are considered valid in the Episcopal Church, so those confirmed in such a tradition who now wish to join the Episcopal Church do not need to be confirmed again. They may participate in the rite of Reception, in which an Episcopal Bishop receives them into the Episcopal Church. At times, adult members of the Episcopal Church wish to publicly reaffirm their faith, either because they've returned to the church after a period of absence, or because they've come to a new understanding of their faith which they wish to acknowledge liturgically. The rite of Reaffirmation provides an opportunity to do so with the blessing of a bishop, and may be repeated as many times as one feels called to do so.