intention for the sacraments

The minister of a sacrament must determine the purpose of his action by an act of his will, called intention. Therefore for a valid sacrament, the minister must have the intention of making and administering a sacrament, "at least of doing what the Church does". This intention must be interior, and at least virtual. The adult recipient of a sacrament must have a positive intention to receive a sacrament, except in the sacraments of Penance and Matrimony, in which cases an habitual intention suffices.

New Catholic Dictionary

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