Confirmation, sometimes referred to at catechism, at St. Mark’s is a two year course of study for 7th and 8th grade students structured around Luther’s Small Catechism. Each year cohort meets weekly during the school year for an hour. Homework consisting of reading and memorization is expected to take another hour at home during the week. This year the 7th grade group meets on Tuesdays @ 5:30. The 8th grade on Wednesdays @ 3:00. (Those times are flexible during the course of the year due to various school activities.)
As per the Sylabus handed out the purpose of this instruction is as follows:
Confirmation is a confirmation of one’s baptism. It is a making of one’s own the answers parents and sponsors gave at baptism. The questions and answers given in the rite of Confirmation (Lutheran Service Book p 272ff) spell out the goal this course is directed toward – namely a confirmand who can answer those questions with knowledge and integrity. Those questions operate on three levels. The simplest is intellectual. The student at the end of confirmation instruction should have an operative mental understanding of the basics of the Christian faith. Those basics are contained in Luther’s Small Catechism. Confirmation instruction is also a time period to observe and learn the practice of the faith. One could have a perfect mental understanding of the faith and fail to practice it. Confirmation is a practical introduction to what it means to “live according to the Word of God”. Luther described the Christian life as one of “prayer, meditation and trial”. In prayer we see the practice of the faith, in meditation we see the intellectual life of the faith, but it is the trial that we prepare for. The final goal of confirmation is to form confirmands who will be able to stand in the faith given to them in the time of trial. This formation is a lifelong endeavor, what confirmation represents here is the catechumen’s confession to Jesus as “the way, the truth and the life” or the catechumen’s acceptance of the call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.