Catechism (Instruction) BCP 1662

It is expedient that every person, thus baptized, should be confirmed by the Bishop so soon after his Baptism as conveniently may be.

An Instruction


According to the Rite in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer

An Instruction (Catechism)to be Learned of Every Person, Before he or she be Brought to be Confirmed by the Bishop.

QUESTION. What is your Name?

Answer. [Your baptismal name]

Question. Who gave you this Name?

Answer. My Godfathers and Godmothers in my Baptism; wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.

Question. What did your Godfathers and Godmothers do for you?

Answer. They promised and vowed three things in my name. 

First, that I should renounce the devil and all his works, the empty show and the worthless value of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh. 

Secondly, that I should believe all the Articles of the Christian Faith. 

And thirdly, that I should keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in them all the days of my life.

Question. Do you not think that you are bound to believe, and to do, as they have promised for you?

Answer. Yes truthfully: and by God’s help so I will. And I heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he has called me to this state of salvation, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. And I pray unto God to give me his grace, that I may continue in it unto my life’s end.

Catechist: Rehearse the Articles of your Belief.

Answer. I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of and earth:

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried, He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven, And sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit; The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the Life everlasting. Amen.

Question. What do you chiefly learn in these Articles of your Belief?

Answer. First, I learn to believe in God the Father, who has made me, and all the world.

Secondly, in God the Son, who has redeemed me, and all mankind.

Thirdly, in God the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies me, and all the elect people of God.

Question. YOU said, that your Godfathers and Godmothers promised for you that you should keep God’s commandments. Tell me how many there are?

Answer. Ten.

Question. What are they?

Answer. THE same ones which God spoke in the twentieth Chapter of Exodus, verses 1 to 17, saying, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 

“You shall not murder. 

You shall not commit adultery. 

You shall not steal. 

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Question. WHAT do you mainly learn by these Commandments?

Answer. I learn two things: my duty towards God, and my duty towards my Neighbour.

Question. What is your duty towards God?

Answer. My duty towards God, is to believe in him, to fear him, and to love him with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength; to worship him, to give him thanks, to put my whole trust in him, to call upon him, to honour his holy Name and his Word, and to serve him truly all the days of my life.

Question. What is your duty towards your Neighbour?

Answer. My duty towards my Neighbour, is to love him as myself, and to do to all men, as I would they should do unto me: To love, honour, and succour my father and mother: To honour and obey my the government in so far as it does not violate God’s holy Word and Commandments, to honour and obey my teachers, spiritual pastors and mentors: To not think of myself more highly than I ought: To hurt nobody by word nor deed: To be true and just in all my dealings: To bear no malice nor hatred in my heart but to forgive those who trespass against me: To keep my hands from picking and stealing, and my tongue from speaking evil things and immoral things, lying, and slandering: To keep my body in temperance, soberness, and chastity: Not to covet nor desire things that belong to other people; but to learn and labour truly to get mine own living, and to do my duty in that state of life to which it shall please God to call me.

Catechist. MY good Child, know this, that you are not able to do these things of yourself, nor to walk in the Commandments of God, and to serve him, without his special grace; which you must learn at all times to call for by diligent prayer. Let me hear therefore, if you can say the Lord’s Prayer.

Answer. OUR Father, Who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Question. What do you desire of God in this Prayer?

Answer. I desire my Lord God our heavenly Father, who is the giver of all goodness, to send his grace unto me, and to all people: that we may worship him, serve him, and obey him, as we ought to do. And I pray unto God, that he will send us all things that are needful both for our souls and bodies; and that he will be merciful unto us, and forgive us our sins; and that it will please him to save and defend us in all dangers spiritually and bodily; and that he will keep us from all sin and wickedness, and from our spiritual enemy, and from everlasting death. And this I trust he will do of his mercy and goodness, through our Lord Jesus Christ. And therefore I say, Amen, So be it.

Question. HOW many Sacraments had Christ ordained in his Church?

Answer. Two only that are generally necessary to salvation, which are Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.

Question. What do you mean by this word Sacrament?

Answer. I mean an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive this grace, and a pledge to assure us of this fact.

Question. How many parts are there in a Sacrament?

Answer. Two: the outward visible sign, and the inward spiritual grace.

Question. What is the outward visible sign or form in Baptism?

Answer. Water: in which the person is baptized In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Question. What is the inward and spiritual grace?

Answer. It is a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness: for being by nature born in sin, and the children of wrath, we are made the children of grace by this inward spiritual grace.

Question. What is required of persons to be baptized?

Answer. Repentance, whereby they forsake sin: and Faith, whereby they steadfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that Sacrament.

Question. Why then are Infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age they cannot perform them?

Answer. Because by their guarantors they promise that when they come of age themselves they are bound to perform what was promised. It is not their own faith at that tender age, but the faith of the Church by which they promise to do these things.

Question. Why was the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper ordained?

Answer. For the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ and of the benefits which we receive thereby.

Question. What is the outward part or sign of the Lord’s Supper?

Answer. Bread and Wine, which the Lord has commanded to be received.

Question. What is the inward part, or thing signified?

Answer. The Body and Blood of Christ, which are truly and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord’s Supper.

Question. What are the benefits we gain when we are partakers of this Holy Communion?

Answer. The strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the Body and Blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the Bread and Wine.

Question. What is required of those who come to the Lord’s Supper?

Answer. To examine themselves, whether they truly repent of their former sins, steadfastly purposing to lead a new life; have a living faith in God’s mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and be in love with all men.

The Priest of every Parish shall diligently upon Sundays and Holy-days, after the second Lesson at Evening Prayer, openly in the Church instruct and examine so many Children of his Parish sent unto him, as he shall think convenient, in some Part of this Catechism.

And all Fathers, Mothers, Masters, and Dames, shall cause their Children, Servants, and Prentices (which have not learned their Catechism,) to come to the Church at the time appointed, and obediently to hear, and be ordered by the Priest, until such time as they have learned all that is here appointed for them to learn.

So soon as children are of a competent age, and can say, in their Mother Tongue, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments; and also can answer the other questions of this short Catechism; they shall be brought to the Bishop. And every one shall have a Godfather, or a Godmother, as a witness of their Confirmation.

And whenever the Bishop shall give knowledge for Children to be brought unto him for their Confirmation, the Priest of every Parish shall either bring, or send in writing, the names of all such persons within his Parish, as he shall think fit to be presented to the Bishop to be confirmed. And, if the Bishop approve of them, he shall confirm them in manner following.