Church of Uganda has issued new guidelines on the administration of the sacrament of Confirmation restricting it from underage children. The sacrament of confirmation is the second stage of initiation into Christianity.
It is considered the completion of baptism through, which a person becomes a full member of the Church after undergoing basic liturgical teachings. The ritual is performed by a Bishop through prayers and laying hands on the candidates.
The Bishop also leads candidates to confess loyalty to the Anglican Communion. Henry Katumba Tamale, the Bishop of West Buganda Diocese, says the church will no longer confer the sacrament to candidates below 12- years of age.
Bishop Katumba made the revelation while lead a confirmation service for 126 candidates from Masaka Archdeaconry at St John’s Church Kijjabwemi in Masaka municipality on Sunday.
He says Church of Uganda has noted with concern the growing trend of parents presenting younger children for the holly sacrament even before mastering the basic Christian prayers, which undermines the rationale of the ritual.
He explains that the guidelines were part of the universal resolutions of the 24th Provincial Assembly held in Mukono recently to forge ways of strengthening the Anglican faith in the country.
Bishop Katumba challenged parents to renew their efforts of nurturing children into Christian values to secure a bright future for the Church and its continuity in Uganda. He observed that for the two years he has served as Bishop, he has noticed a decline in the values among laity in the diocese.
Bishop Katumba directed Church leaders in the diocese to stop the habit of chasing children from Church services but to create a conducive environment that allows them to participate in worship.
Reverend Patrick Ssimbwa of the Masaka Archdeaconry observed that that guidelines will help them to restore sanity in the church.