Confirmation and First Holy Communion

The University Church is a place where many people explore making a Christian commitment for the first time. At St Mary's, we believe that God calls us to be witnesses to God's kingdom and to grow into the likeness of Christ. But we also recognise that for most of us, that journey takes a lifetime.

In the gospels, Jesus Christ appointed two sacraments for his Church, as needed by all for fulness of life, Baptism and Holy Communion. Other sacramental ministries of grace are Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, the Ministry of Absolution and the Ministry of Healing. Confirmation and admission to Holy Communion are a vital part of the journey of faith as those who follow Christ seek to grow in grace. 

Confirmation

Confirmation is the ministry by which, through prayer with the laying on of hands by the Bishop, the Holy Spirit is received to complete what began in Baptism, and to give strength for the Christian life. In particular, for those baptised as infants, it is a moment to express one's own Christian commitment publicly and to embrace the promises made by one's parents and godparents.

The Confirmation Service takes place annually at the University Church during the fifty days of Easter. An adult preparation group will start meeting in Hilary Term. Adults who have not previously been baptised will be prepared for baptism and confirmation.

Admission to Holy Communion

Holy Communion is the principle act of worship at the University Church on Sundays and Feast Days. In this sacrament, we are drawn into an intimate encounter with Christ as we receive his body and his blood. When we participate in Holy Communion, we make continual remembrance of him according to his command, and we recall his passion, death and resurrection, until his coming again. In Holy Communion, we thankfully receive the benefits of his sacrifice. In the Christian tradition, this sacrament is also called the Eucharist, the Church's sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; the Lord's Supper, the meal of fellowship which unites us to Christ and to the whole Church; and the Mass, as we are 'sent out' in a mission of love and service in the world.

At the University Church, all who are regular communicants in their own tradition are welcome to receive the sacrament. Those who are not communicants are welcome to receive a blessing.

Children of 7 and older who have been baptised and are regular worshippers at the University Church are invited to be admitted to receive Holy Communion. Admission to Holy Communion takes place each year on Trinity Sunday. Preparation takes place in Children's Church in the weeks leading up to this Sunday. 

For further information about Baptism, Confirmation and Admission to Holy Communion, please contact the Vicar: vicar@universitychurch.ox.ac.uk.