Was my confirmation valid? I


When I was confirmed the bishop didn’t feel like going to all the churches to confer the sacrament, so The diocese rented a very large secular auditorium for the day and had all confirmation candidates from the diocese get confirmed there. There was no mass, he just had everyone go up in a line with their sponsor to receive the sacrament.

My question is - is my confirmation invalid because it did not take place in a church, and it did not take place during a mass?



It seems highly unlikely that any bishop would see to it that all these preparations were made just to gather a large number of people together and confirm them in a way that would make all these confirmations invalid. Huge waste of everyone’s time and the diocese’s resources.

Be at peace and trust that your bishop knows what he is doing.



Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.
St Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrneans

This is the earliest use of the term Catholic Church. so you can be sure the bishop’s presence is what is important for anything the Church does.



My understanding is that being in a church is not intrinsic to the validity of the sacrament of confirmation.



It amazes me that anyone could make such a post.



What do you find “amazing” about this? The OP asked a question, and we answer.



How do you know he didn’t “feel like it”? There may have been logistical reasons that made it impossible, or a health related issues that wasn’t made public. Unless he came right out and said "I don’t feel like it’, you really don’t know.



I do wonder what makes people question the validity of the sacraments they receive. From the content of the questions often asked the person asking does not know what are the requirements for a sacrament to be valid. If they do not know why have doubts about its validity?

To be valid a sacrament requires the following:

  1. proper matter;
  2. proper form;
  3. intent of the minister;
  4. correct minister;
  5. recipients entitled to receive the sacrament.

A bishop is the ordinary minister of confirmation. If he used the words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” (the form) and used sacred chrism (the matter) we can assume he had the correct intent. So, unless you should not receive confirmation you received the sacrament validly.



As long as your Bishop is a valid Catholic Bishop, as long as he used the proper words, you are Confirmed.

Confirmation does not have to happen in a Church or during a Mass. It can be done in an ER bedside at the hospital or in a big auditorium.

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One HUGE lack in these forums is the age bracket of the posters. That alone would greatly help to clear up many misunderstandings. As well, the traditional “fear” of speaking with Father still applies. A simple question to Father after mass would put so many hearts at ease.

OP: Simply put: If the Bishop (or priest at the Bishop’s direction) lays hands on you with the intention of confirming you - you are confirmed. Let not your heart be troubled!

We old, curmudgeonly types have “occasionally” forgotten about what it is like to be young. Everything is long settled for us. So, when we see such a question, we can be amazed. After a little pondering, we should not be.

Still, knowing a little more about whom we interact with would be helpful.



Actually the laying on of hands is not required. Just the sealing with sacred chrism. In large groups the bishop typically doesn’t lay hands on the masses.

The only sacrament that needs to occur during Mass is the Eucharist. Matrimony, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick, Penance, Baptism and Confirmation may all be done separately.

Deacon Christopher


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