Monday, May 15, 2006

Confirmation




















This weekend, my wife and I were confirmed into the Episcopal church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. It's a step we had been considering for quite some time. In fact, we took all the necessary steps for confirmation last year but wanted to give it some more time and prayer. With substantial life changes looming on the horizon (more on this in the next few days), we decided we wanted to be confirmed with the Grace and St. Stephen's parish, where we've been attending for nearly two years. The service was held at the seat of Colorado's diocese, Denver's St. John's Cathedral.

Humbled in size by the massive architecture and ornate surroundings, we found ourselves in the front, kneeling. The choir sounded like something medieval, ethereal. The bishop, resplendent in his robes and mitre sat before us. I closed my eyes and felt the comfortable weight of his hands resting atop my head.

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

A moment later I caught a whiff of the sweet-smelling oil he applied to my forehead in the form of the cross. It was a sublime and moving experience.

Please rejoice with us as we continue our wondrous journey of faith.

11 Comments:

Anonymous krissy said...

Ceremonial religion is the master of all brain washing. I wish you luck with your new travels into this abyss of everlasting downward spiral. I myself am not a born again,(once was enough)nor do I believe in any organized religion. I wish you the best into this type of religion. Why did you change your beliefs?

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Clearly, you are a riot at parties.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Mazel Tov!

12:34 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

I'm sorry you feel that way, Krissy, though I certainly understand why. I think if you were to peruse the spiritually related blogs on this site, you will find someone who more often than not takes issue with ceremonial, or, as I assume you really mean, established religion.

Yes, it has been woefully abused and yes, it has been misappropriated for the most monstrous forms of evil. But the abuse of practicers does not invalidate the practice.

I like what author Phillip Yancey said: I left the church because I found so little grace there. I came back to the church because I found none outside it.

My beliefs never changed, but my practice has. Raised in evangelical Pentecostalism, the change to a more liturgical, ceremonial form of worship was exactly what I was looking for to fill the void that my former practice could not.

I, for one, think ceremony and ritual is very important in the human life. We need repetitive reminders to reveal to us those things we've forgotten or to remind us of those things we know so well or to ground us in things we have only just discovered. The practice creates habits that we can then fall back on in times of trouble or discomfort or, just as valid, peace and concord.

I find the ceremonialism beautiful and comforting. There is something very solid and strengthening in knowing that this is the way it has been done for thousands of years.

I hope your quest is fruitful. I hope you find what it is you are looking for. As long as you are seeking truth above all else, I cannot think ill of your journey, no matter where you are on it.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Well, hundreds, anyway. ;-)

Brandon, congratulations to both of you, and blessings upon your house.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous CW said...

Dear Brandon:

Welcome to the world wide Anglican communion. I received the oil around this time of year five years ago. More Holy Spirit never hurt anybody. Congratulations!

C

10:41 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

AD 2006. That's 2000 years since the death of Christ, the event that breaks our calander in half. So ergo-- thousands.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Bethany said...

Brandon and Stephanie -

Congratulations! I am excited and moved to watch you take this next step. I look forward to these next years and all they have to offer.

Much, much love to you both

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Except that the Anglican traditions, and therefore the "rituals" you mentioned, broke off from, and changed from, the Catholic Church in the 16th century...ergo hundreds. :-)

*quibble...quibble...quibble...*

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Ok, I read "ceremonialism" as "rituals"

1:14 PM  
Anonymous D said...

Dear Brandon and Stephanie:

Congratulations on your confirmation, and welome to the Episcopal church and the worldwide Anglican Communion! So happy for both of you!

Love, D

1:42 PM  

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