Author Topic: Confirmation Verses  (Read 2407 times)

Mark Brown

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Confirmation Verses
« on: May 19, 2021, 09:36:57 AM »
I suppose there are two practices in regards to confirmation verses.  A) You let the kids pick them, or B) you pick them for the kids.  Since I'm a tyrant, I always do the second.  And if you are picking the verse, I've always felt that it requires a bit of the prophetic in there.  John 3:16 is a great verse, but picking it for a kid feels like saying "yeah, great kid, but I ran out of time or just didn't imprint much."  Most years I haven't had trouble.  The verses kinda picked themselves.  But what verse to you pick to saddle the kid with for life on the fancy certificate when they are just good well adjusted kids with great parents if not overly driven by piety?

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2021, 09:46:02 AM »
I suppose there are two practices in regards to confirmation verses.  A) You let the kids pick them, or B) you pick them for the kids.  Since I'm a tyrant, I always do the second.  And if you are picking the verse, I've always felt that it requires a bit of the prophetic in there.  John 3:16 is a great verse, but picking it for a kid feels like saying "yeah, great kid, but I ran out of time or just didn't imprint much."  Most years I haven't had trouble.  The verses kinda picked themselves.  But what verse to you pick to saddle the kid with for life on the fancy certificate when they are just good well adjusted kids with great parents if not overly driven by piety?

I've always chosen them. I try to find something about the student and tie it in. This year, I have two athletes, so I'm using verses on endurance and perseverance. I also asked their parents for verse suggestions (first time I've done that).
The truth we preach is not an abstract thing. The truth is a Person. The goodness we preach is not an ideal quality. The goodness is Someone who is good. The love we preach is God himself in Christ. --H. Grady Davis

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2021, 10:26:11 AM »
1 John 3:2 (KJV) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

peterm

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2021, 10:29:58 AM »
Revelation 3:8 Behold, I have set before you an open door which no one is able to shut.  For though you have but little strength, you have not denied my name (RSV)  This was the verse chosen for me at my confirmation in 1984
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2021, 10:40:37 AM »
I used to pick them for the kids and it was always sort of a reveal. In most cases they appreciated the thought that went into it. But that was in a setting where I also spoke for a few minutes about each confirmand as part of the service and was able to give some context or insight into my thought process that went into the choice.

I've gone to letting the kids choose the verse because we have them write an essay based on it that ends up being a personal statement of faith and I read excerpts of those essays as part of the service. For several years I tried choosing the verses for them and then giving them a personalized essay topic related to the verse, but it was a lot of work and then were would always be kids who didn't understand the topic or parents who wanted to make sure their kids got the same verse as their grandmother or whatever. I find it works just jim dandy to let the kids pick the verses.

The essays tend not to be very Christological statements of faith. They generally focus on the comfort of knowing that God is always watching over them and helping them. Which is all well and good, but the really good, solid, Christ-centered statements are exceptional, not the norm.   

aletheist

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2021, 10:42:49 AM »
Both my kids chose their own confirmation verses. My son's is Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is insight" (ESV). Since he is now studying music composition in college, he set it to music and had it performed by the Men's Glee Club, of which he is a member (https://youtu.be/rqw7AaVTxEs). My daughter's is Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" (NIV). She specifically prefers "submit to" over the more traditional "acknowledge."
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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2021, 10:59:59 AM »
I always pick the verses (the tyrant must be in our GenX blood, Mark  ;) ). If you have a copy of Nesper's Biblical Texts, that can be a good source of ideas. If you don't have Nesper, I think CTSFW is still selling a spiral-bound reprint. It's been out of print for eons and to my knowledge, no one else has compiled such a useful resource.

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Dan Fienen

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2021, 11:19:48 AM »
I always pick the verses (the tyrant must be in our GenX blood, Mark  ;) ). If you have a copy of Nesper's Biblical Texts, that can be a good source of ideas. If you don't have Nesper, I think CTSFW is still selling a spiral-bound reprint. It's been out of print for eons and to my knowledge, no one else has compiled such a useful resource.

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I bought my copy back in the 70s at seminary. I believe that it can still be bought on the used book market, for example Amazon.
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Mark Brown

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2021, 11:28:08 AM »
1 John 3:2 (KJV) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

That is a good one.  Sparked a fruitful thread for the sermon/blessing.

I used to pick them for the kids and it was always sort of a reveal. In most cases they appreciated the thought that went into it. But that was in a setting where I also spoke for a few minutes about each confirmand as part of the service and was able to give some context or insight into my thought process that went into the choice... 

Yeah, I don't have many per class, so their confirmation verses are the sermon text for the day.  And so each kid gets a personal valedictory or blessing in a way.  Very similar to wedding homilies in a way.

I always pick the verses (the tyrant must be in our GenX blood, Mark  ;) ). If you have a copy of Nesper's Biblical Texts, that can be a good source of ideas. If you don't have Nesper, I think CTSFW is still selling a spiral-bound reprint. It's been out of print for eons and to my knowledge, no one else has compiled such a useful resource.

RPG+
 

I'll have to look for that one.  CPH has a file of all the verses they will print on their certificates.  That is a helpful list.  Although it tends toward the pietist.  (Not in the specific Lutheran epithet way, just "Today, I and my house..." way.

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2021, 11:38:49 AM »
1 John 3:2 (KJV) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

That is a good one.  Sparked a fruitful thread for the sermon/blessing.

I used to pick them for the kids and it was always sort of a reveal. In most cases they appreciated the thought that went into it. But that was in a setting where I also spoke for a few minutes about each confirmand as part of the service and was able to give some context or insight into my thought process that went into the choice... 

Yeah, I don't have many per class, so their confirmation verses are the sermon text for the day.  And so each kid gets a personal valedictory or blessing in a way.  Very similar to wedding homilies in a way.

I always pick the verses (the tyrant must be in our GenX blood, Mark  ;) ). If you have a copy of Nesper's Biblical Texts, that can be a good source of ideas. If you don't have Nesper, I think CTSFW is still selling a spiral-bound reprint. It's been out of print for eons and to my knowledge, no one else has compiled such a useful resource.

RPG+
 

I'll have to look for that one.  CPH has a file of all the verses they will print on their certificates.  That is a helpful list.  Although it tends toward the pietist.  (Not in the specific Lutheran epithet way, just "Today, I and my house..." way.
Between the pastorís personal remarks on each kid and the reading of their essays, plus the fact that each confirmand answered the last four questions individually at the font (the creed part they did as a class) we spent about five minutes on each confirmand. Usually had around twenty. With hymns and a homily, procession, recession, etc. the service took forever. But people loved it.

Mike in Pennsylvania

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2021, 12:41:09 PM »
I let the kids pick their verses, giving them a list of 50 or so suggestions.  Two simple rules were 1) they could pick a verse not on the list with my approval; and 2) if two kids picked the same verse, the first one to ask me got it.  (That only happened once.)
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2021, 01:43:38 PM »
A confirmation verse is a tradition found only among some Lutherans. One of the things a tri-synod committee on confirmation ministry in 1968 is that the Lutheran church had never had a definition of confirmation. I believe they found five different traditions among Lutherans in America.


I don't recall having a confirmation verse when I was confirmed (ALC); nor has there been one for the youth I have confirmed.


(I'm not saying it's a bad practice; it's just not a tradition all Lutherans have followed.)


There have been rare occasions where a family knew the confirmation verse which I incorporated into a funeral sermon.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Charles Austin

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2021, 03:48:41 PM »
Personally, never had a confirmation verse applied to my humble teen-age person. No parish I served ever had the practice.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Mark Brown

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2021, 04:09:50 PM »
It is really mordantly funny that even in something like this we can't avoid polarization.

Charles Austin

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Re: Confirmation Verses
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2021, 04:59:25 PM »
I have nothing against such a verse, I just never had one.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.