Confirmation is derived from the Latin word “confirmare”, to strengthen. In this sense, Confirmation involves the reaffirmation of faith through the strengthening and renewal of one's baptismal vows accomplished through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop. Historically, Baptism and Confirmation once were a unified rite, with the bishop performing both activities. With the spread of the faith in Europe during the early Middle Ages, the rites became separated. In recent centuries, it has been seen as an opportunity for those Baptized as infants to make an adult profession of faith, and to reaffirm the vows made on their behalf by witnesses.
Until very recently, it was also a precondition to participation in the Eucharist throughout the Communion. Some Anglican churches, as we do at Holy Trinity, Thornhill, now view Baptism as sufficient for accessing the grace of all the sacraments, since it is the means of initiation into the faith.