Illicit confirmation


#1

I just realized that my confirmation was ilicit

I was baptized when I was 12, first communion a month later, confirmation the following year. no one told me I had to go to confession first, they just kept saying I wasn’t ready.

of course I know now that I should have gone but I really didn’t know then… which makes me sad because I enjoyed receiving the sacraments

that age is a really awkward time to come in to the church. you basically miss all of catechism classes and after confirmation you’re pretty much on your own. and my parents couldn’t afford catholic school and they didn’t really know much themselves.

is there anything that can be done? I know the sacrament it still valid but is there anything like for a marriage outside the church where it can be blessed? is there similar for the other sacraments?

I guess it wasn’t really my fault, at that age, I really didn’t udnerstandd much about the faith. I still wish I could do something about it though


#2

You have no need to worry. Assuming you have since gone to confession and received absolution, the graces of confirmation are present and active within you. If one receives the sacrament of confirmation while in a state of mortal sin, the sacrament is, as you pointed out, valid but illicit. The graces of the sacrament are “dormant” in the sense that you can’t benefit from them, but the moment you receive absolution you receive the full benefits of the sacrament. Think of it this way - when you were confirmed, you received an empty cup, a cup that can never be taken away from you, and as soon as you were in a state of grace, that cup was filled with the water it was meant to be filled with at your confirmation.
For your peace of mind, bring it up the next time you go to confession.

It isn’t comparable to an invalid marriage being blessed. In the case of a Catholic who attempted marriage outside of the Church, no sacramental marriage took place at all. In such cases, the convalidation ceremony is the first time that the sacrament of marriage is conferred. In your case a sacrament was conferred, just illicitly.


#3

No, it was not illict.

there is nothing to be done. Your Confirmation is perfectly valid. There is nothing further to “do”.

Convalidation makes an invalid marriage valid. “Blessed” is a misnomer. Convalidation is the exchange of consent, it is the conferral of the sacrament.

Since you have already received the sacrament of confirmation there is nothing more to be done.


#4

Your confirmation was not illicit. The delay in its administration (it should have been administered immediately after baptism) was illicit, and your being denied confession was illicit, but the confirmation itself was not illicit.


#5

Actually, the delay in not receiving Confirmation immediately after Baptism is not illicit in the Roman rite. The Church has authority over the sacraments, and the timing of Confirmation is within that power.

There has been much discussion over when Confirmation should be administered. In Eastern rites, it is administered after baptism, not 8 to 16 years later. There is something to be said for both approaches.


#6

You wish you had been to confession prior to your confirmation, but you weren’t. What can you do about it? You can’t do anything retroactively, but you can go to confession regularly now. When you know better, do better, and as far as what you didn’t do when you didn’t know better or weren’t allowed to do better, let it be an invitation to compassion towards others who appear to you to be failing.


#7

On the contrary,

Can. 866 Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, an adult who is baptized is to be confirmed immediately after baptism and is to participate in the eucharistic celebration also by receiving communion

Can. 852 §1. The prescripts of the canons on adult baptism are to be applied to all those who, no longer infants, have attained the use of reason.

The delay is licit in cases of infant baptism.


#8

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