Confirmation is an old tradition. In the Church of Norway, confirmation is a prayer of intercessions that confirms the promises God gave when you were baptised. In confirmation classes you learn how Christian faith is relevant to your life.
All 14-year-olds are invited to take part in confirmation in the Church of Norway. During this preparatory period with confirmation classes, you decide whether you wish to confirm your baptism.
Confirmation is for those who are baptised. Therefore, many young people, who wish to do so, are baptised during the confirmation period.
The word confirmation derives from the latin verb "confirmare", which means to strengthen, confirm, vindicate or “to make strong”.
Frequently asked questions about confirmation in the church
What is the difference between a catholic and a lutheran confirmation?
The time of confirmation, and in particular the final confirmation service, renews the baptism in a special way. Confirmation has its roots in the act of baptism and has through all of the church's history been connected to it. Luther did not see confirmation as a sacrament, but confirmation was still considered as an act attached to baptism. Because you are baptised there is a continuous need to get to know the Christian truths more closely.
For Luther, confirmation constituted a good framework for Christian education, even after baptism. In the Church of Norway it is expected that one is baptised in order to take part in the final confirmation service. This is made visible through the liturgical reminder of baptism, and for those who carry white gowns in the service, it is a symbol of the baptismal gown.
Confirmation is thus not necessary for baptism, but baptism is necessary for confirmation.
How do I register for confirmation in the church?
Do you want to know more about confirmation where you live, or register for confirmation classes? Registration takes place in the congregation where you live.
Find your congregation by clicking the search field below, and find contact details for the congregation. . Some places confirmation takes place during spring time, other places during the autumn. Some places you can also choose the time. This is why there is no national registration or deadline.
Do I have to be baptised in order to be confirmed?
Any young person can register for confirmation or take part in the confirmation classes and activities. However, one needs to be baptised in order to be confirmed in the church confirmation service. This can take place immediately prior to the confirmation, or it can take place in another church. It can also take place during the confirmation preparatory period.
Baptism takes place either in a regular Sunday worship service in the congregation where you live, or it can take place in a separate baptism service, with only a few close relatives present. This can take place during the confirmation preparatory period. Around 35 000 young people are confirmed in Church of Norway every year. Around 1000 of these are baptised in the course of the confirmation preparatory period.
If you are already baptised in another Christian church, and wish to keep your church membership in that church, you can still be confirmed in Church of Norway without becoming a member.
Who decides if I can be confirmed?
As a young person you decide for yourself whether you want confirmation in church.
Most people in Norway are confirmed the year they are 15. According to Norwegian law, you are religiously of an age of consent at the age of 15, and may freely choose which faith society you wish to belong to.
If you have grown ups around you who think you should not be confirmed in church, and you find this difficult, you can contact the church where you live and talk to the priest about this.
It is not needed that any of the parents or the youth shall be members of Church of Norway for the youth to choose to be confirmed. One can participate in preparation for confirmation (confirmation classes, camps, etc.) without being baptised. However, one needs to be baptised before the confirmation itself. Baptism can take place in the preparation time before confirmation.
What is the cost of confirmation?
The price for preparations for confirmation (confirmation classes, camps, etc.) may vary from place to place, depending on the local congregation.
Oftentimes one only pays the cost of participating in a confirmation camp. However, all congregations are asked to provide support, which means that if it is difficult for you to participate due to the cost, you may ask the congregation for support, in order to enable you to take part in the programme.
Is there an age limit for confirmation?
Confirmation in Church of Norway normally happens the year a person turns 15 years of age. This also has to do with the fact that a person is religiously of legal age at 15 and can freely choose religious belonging.
If there are other considerations to be made around age, the congregation can make exceptions. Contact the local congregation and explain why you wish confirmation at a different age.
What does one wear at the confirmation?
During the confirmation service the candidates for confirmation wear a white gown on top of their own clothing. The white gown is a symbol of the traditional white christening gown that many children wear when they are baptised as infants. The white gown therefore contributes to the symbolic link between baptism and confirmation. On the day of confirmation the church will lend you a white gown.
Oftentimes both guests and candidates for confirmation wear nice clothes for the confirmation day, such as a dress, a suit or a national costume. What you prefer to wear for confirmation is entirely up to you, both as a candidate for confirmation, and as a guest.
Do I need to wear a national costume or host a big celebration?
No, you don’t.
What you wear, and whether you want to have a celebration after the confirmation service is up to you. At the confirmation service you borrow the white gown in the church. Many people choose to have a celebration in relation to confirmation with close family and friends, but this is up to each candidate for confirmation and their families. Why and how you celebrate the day is your choice.
Who can I talk to about special needs for confirmation and the preparatory period?
All persons are unique and need different adaptations. Independent from the level of abilities and disabilities, those who choose confirmation have a right to enjoy the preparatory time and confirmation. If you, or someone you know, has special needs, feel free to contact the local congregation.
It is important that the preparatory period for confirmation is a positive time for the young participants. It is a time to check out and learn about Christian faith. This is done through conversations, exercises and playing games. The preparatory period is based on team building and fellowship, where the candidates feel that this is a safe space.
You are welcome to contact you congregation as early as possible to talk about special needs or express concerns.
You can also take part in confirmation if you live abroad. The Norwegian Church Abroad has 28 churches spread around the world and most of them offer confirmation classes and confirmation. The Norwegian Church Abroad also offers digital classes.
Read more here: English | Sjømannskirken (sjomannskirken.no)
Contact the local congregation where you live. Contact information can be found by using the search link below.