Confirmation: is it about gifts or faith? Skip to content

Confirmation: is it about gifts or faith?

About 4,000 Icelandic teenagers are confirmed by the Lutheran state church this spring, many around Easter. The teenagers confirm their faith in Christ in a special ceremony and afterwards their families celebrate with a party.

Confirmation has come under criticism as some feel it has become more about getting presents than about faith.

RÚV asked a few 14-year-olds, who were confirmed in Bústadarkirkja in Reykjavík on March 25, why they had decided to participate in the ceremony.

“I feel good about this. I do it to confirm my baptism,” Elín Lára Gudmundsdóttir said.

Hreinn Ingi Örnólfsson hesitated, laughed and then said: “We are confirming our faith in the Lord.”

Before the confirmation ceremony, the teenagers have to attend classes in religious studies. Björn Oder Ólafsson said he had learned to respect others in the classes and “to grow up a little.”

The teenagers about to be confirmed then walked up the church aisle in a double line, dressed in white robes. The priest asked each of them whether they would look towards Jesus Christ for guidance in life. The teenagers agreed and prayed together.

Huldar Bjarmi Halldórsson said the most exciting thing about confirmation was the feast that followed, celebrating with friends and family.

Aron Björn Bjarnason added he believed the most popular confirmation present this year would be a Play Station 3.

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