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3. Ministers of Confirmation, etc.

Antiquities of the Christian Church
XV. Of Confirmation

3. Ministers of Confirmation, etc.

Agreeably to the example of the ancient church, and of general usage, the bishop is the appropriate minister of confirmation. In defence of this custom, Chrysostom and Augustine refer to the case of the Samaritan converts, who were baptized by Phillip, but received the imposition of hands from an apostle, Acts 8:12–17. Several canons deny to the other orders of the clergy, the right of consecrating. but presbyters were, in certain cases, authorized to administer the rite; such as the absence of the bishop, or, in his presence by express permission, – on the conversion of a heretic, if he was nigh unto death and the bishop were absent. Deacons exercised the same prerogatives until absolutely forbidden by the council of Toledo, A. D. 400.

In the Latin church, after the separation of baptism from confirmation, a series of preliminary religious exercises was requisite for this rite, similar to those which had been previously required for baptism.

Names given in baptism were sometimes changed at confirmation. This, however, was merely an occasional practice of the later centuries.

Sponsors, or god-fathers, or god-mothers, were also required as in baptism formerly. These might be the same as the baptismal sponsors, or others might be substituted in their place.

A separate edifice for solemnizing this rite was in some instances provided, called consignatorium, albatorum, and chrismarium. After the disuse of baptisteries, both baptism and confirmation were administered in the church, and usually at the altar.

Chrysost. Horn. 18. in Acts: Augustin. De Trinit. lib. xv. c. 26: Comp. Cyprian, Ep. 73. ad Jubaj.

Cone, llliber. c. 38. 77: Cone. Carthag. ii.e. 3: iii. c. 36: iv c 36: Cone. Tolet. i. c. 20.


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