Ask a Franciscan

Confirmation and the State of Grace

Q: I am concerned that a relative of mine may not have been in the state of grace when he recently received the Sacrament of Confirmation. If so, does he need to receive that sacrament again? Is that true of every sacrament?

A: First of all, you are not sure whether he was in a state of grace or not. Is it really a good use of your limited time and energy to worry about his situation?

Of the seven sacraments, a person obviously does not have to be in the state of grace to receive Baptism, Reconciliation, or the Anointing of the Sick. Even an unconscious person can be anointed if it is reasonable to presume that he or she would have wanted to receive this sacrament.

Regarding the Sacrament of Confirmation, as long as the minister and the person being confirmed intend to do what the Church does in this sacrament, the prescribed anointing took place, and the prescribed words were said, the sacrament was received validly.

A person should be in the state of grace (not having deliberately unconfessed mortal sins) to receive the Eucharist.

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