Swedish Confirmation Records (Konfirmationslängder)

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Background[edit | edit source]

The practice of Confirmation has roots back to the Roman Catholic Church as one of the sacraments a person should receive during this life. This process included gospel instruction, acknowledgement of the baptismal promise, an anointing, and a blessing. Once confirmed or “admitted” to the fold, a person would receive first communion. During the religious strife of the 1600’s the practice of confirmation almost disappeared among the protestant churches. [1]

Through the influence of the German Christian Theologian Philipp Jakob Spener (1635 - 1705) the practice was re-established this time with less ceremony and more focus on spiritual awakening. Eventually, confirmation took on some of the former characteristics again. Bishop Jakob Serenius of Strängnäs stift is attributed in 1763 with the confirmation process that was later adapted by other dioceses. The confirmation included the acknowledgement of baptismal promises that were publicly confessed, and an examination of gospel knowledge in front of the congregation. The youth to be confirmed would attend a series of classes that were instructed by the parish priest over a few weeks before the confirmation presentation was held.

Confirmation became required by the Swedish Lutheran Church for all dioceses with the publishing of the Kyrkohandboken of 1811.[2]

Once confirmed a person would receive their first communion. The person would also receive a Konfirmationsbetyg (a certificate) as proof of completing their confirmation. The time of the confirmation presentation was held in the church typically at the time of Easter or Pentecost but could be held on any other Sunday throughout the year. The age of the youth to be confirmed varied between 14 – 17 years old.

Confirmation Records[edit | edit source]

The keeping of a confirmation record was never legally required. The choice was completely decided by local parish authorities. With this said, it’s common that there are no confirmation records for a parish.

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • A person had to be confirmed before they could marry in the Swedish Lutheran Church.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Nordisk Familjebok p. 726
  2. Nordisk Familjebok p. 727

References[edit | edit source]

Gernandt, C.E., Nordisk Familjebok, Halmstad 1904 – 1926
provided by Projekt Runeberg at Projekt Runeberg: Nordisk Familjebok

Clemensson, Per and Andersson, Kjell. Släktforska steg för steg. Falköping, Natur och Kultur/Fakta, 2005

Wikipedia Community. Konfirmation i Sverige. Swedish Wikipedia, February 2011
See http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konfirmation_i_Sverige