Validity of Confirmation

This morning we had four adult candidates in our RCIA program receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion. The Sacrament of Confirmation was administered by our pastor who is a Monsignor. For the first candidate the priest said, “Be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit”. Then I could see that he caught himself with the second candidate and said, “Be filled and sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” He said this again with the third and only with the fourth candidate did he say, “Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Soirit”.

In keeping with the proper form of the sacrament, was the first candidate’s sacrament invalid? It seems that the next two were illicit but valid and only the last one was licit and valid. If the first man’s sacrament was indeed invalid, then what must be done at this point? It’s now over and everyone went to their reception and as far as everyone os concerned all is well. Is it? If not, what can be done at this point? Thank you for your help… teachccd :confused:

This matter is best referred by the priest to his bishop rather than subjected to a variety of opinions on an internet forum. In the future, it is advisable for a master of ceremonies or even a server to hold a copy of the text for him, at least at the beginning.

A server was holding a copy of the text. How can this priest refer to his bishop when there is no acknowledgement of this error? My concern is not for a variety of opinions on an internet forum (which in fact is what EVERYONE who posts here is seeking) but rather proper advice from someone who knows how to handle this type of situation.

So, nobody can help me out on this one? Did I stump the Liturgy and Sacraments forum? :smiley:

Perhaps the first question is: why is the monsignor confirming anyone? My recollection is that is reserved to the bishop except on one special occasion, and that being Holy Saturday Night.

cameron_lansing IS helping. To say anything more than what he already posted would be counter-productive.

The bishop can delegate this to any priest he chooses. It doesn’t have to be on Holy Saturday–that’s just a time when the pastor doesn’t need delegation to Confirm.

If your pastor will not consider the possibility that the Confirmation is invalid, talk to your Bishop yourself.

No, the priest who admits someone into full communion, as was the case here, is authorized by law to administer the sacrament of Confirmation to them.

Canon 883 The following possess the faculty of administering confirmation by the law itself: 1/ within the boundaries of their jurisdiction, those who are equivalent in law to a diocesan bishop;
2/ as regards the person in question, the presbyter who by virtue of office or mandate of the diocesan bishop baptizes one who is no longer an infant or admits one already baptized into the full communion of the Catholic Church;

In our diocese all priests have the faculty to confirm baptized adult Catholics on Pentecost or the Vigil of Pentecost.

Thank you for all fo the replies. I will look into this since this is bothering me. Whether or not the priest could administer the sacrament is not really my biggest concern. My greatest concern was the form used for the sacrament as I stated in my first post. Thank you again and God bless… teachccd :slight_smile:

the bishop may delegate whenever he so deems necessary

I don’t know if you listen to Catholic Answers Live often, but the host, Patrick Coffin, has said something numerous times when someone calls about the validity of a Sacrament. That the Sacraments are durable. Just as if a priest muddles up some of the words of consecration, on accident of course, the Sacrament is still valid if he had the intention to do what the Church asks of him. Maybe this is the same case. The priest INTENDED to confirm the first person, but muddled up the words a bit. I don’t know if this is true, and still think you should check into it. :slight_smile:

Thank you! No, I have not heard Patrick Coffin on this particular topic. I will look into it. You know I can’t figure out why this is so bothering to me since I know that our God is not up there with a red flag waiting for someone to mess up and then chastise them. We have an infinite loving God. But for some reason this one just stuck with me. Thank you again and God bless… teachccd

I think it comes from too much knowledge! :wink: We know what should be done, and at times it leaves us being the Liturgy police. Honestly, checking out the forums and things that happen in other people’s parishes and dioceses, I feel incredibly blessed. Although we have a priest that we tend to call “side show Charlie” because he finds it necessary in the most solemn moments to make a joke and be the center of attention, I would take that over a priest purposely choosing to change the words of Consecration, telling me I had to receive CITH, or any of the other various abuses that I see people complain about here. :shrug: Guess we don’t have it so bad after all.

Per the RCIA, the pastor can Confirm. This is not delegation from the Bishop.

The Bishop CAN delegate Confirmation in other cases, that would have to be specific delegation.

If the person is a baptized Catholic, the pastor would need specific delegation, regardless of the day. I’m only noting this because the use of “candidate” is such a vague term, I don’t know what others might presume from the OP’s question.

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