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Encyclopedia > Sacraments

A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace. Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life, teachings, death by crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament. ... A rite is an established, ceremonious, usually religious act. ... Divine grace is a Christian term for gifts granted to humanity by God, that God is under no need or obligation to grant. ...


Among many Protestants, the word mediates would mean only that it is a visible symbol or manifestation of invisible divine grace. Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Grace may stand for: favors received from God, see divine grace a short prayer said before a meal to bless and give thanks for it, in folk practices of Christianity and other religions. ...


Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians hold that sacraments are not mere symbols, but cause their recipients to receive divine grace. This article considers Catholicism in the broadest ecclesiastical sense. ... The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is a Christian body whose adherents are largely based in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, with a growing presence in the western world. ...


Christian churches and sects are divided regarding the number and operation of the sacraments, but they are generally held to have been instituted by Jesus. Sacraments are usually administered by the clergy to a recipient or recipients, and are generally understood to involve visible and invisible components. The invisible component (manifested inwardly) is understood to be God's grace working in the sacrament's participants, while the visible (or outward) component entails the use of water, wine, or oil that is blessed or consecrated. A church building is a building used in Christian worship. ... A sect is a small religious group that has branched off of a larger established religion. ... Jesus, also known as Jesus Christ, is the central figure in Christianity. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... The term God is used to designate a Supreme Being; however, there are countless definitions of God. ...

Contents

Etymology

The term sacrament is derived from the Latin sacramentum, meaning "a consecrated thing or act," i.e. "something holy"; '"to consecrate", which itself was a Church Latin translation of the Greek mysterion, meaning "mystery". Latin is the language that was originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Holiness means the state of being holy, that is, set apart for the worship or service of a god or gods. ...


Application

The seven sacraments traditionally recognized by Roman Catholicism are (see also Catholic sacraments): Saint Peters Basilica in Rome. ... The practice of the Roman Catholic Church includes seven sacraments. ...

In addition to these seven, some Christian groups (Anabaptist and Brethren groups, in particular) consider foot washing to be a sacrament (see Gospel of John 13:14). Baptism is a water purification ritual practiced in certain religions such as Christianity, Mandaeanism, Sikhism, and some historic sects of Judaism. ... The Eucharist is either the celebration of the Christian sacrament commemorating Christ’s Last Supper, or the consecrated bread and wine of this sacrament. ... In the theology of Catholicism, marriage is an inseparable bond between a man and a woman, created by human contract and ratified by divine grace. ... This article is about the sacrament. ... Roman Catholic views In the Roman Catholic church confirmation is one of the seven sacraments. ... Chrismation is the name given in Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern_rite Catholic churches to the sacrament known as confirmation in the Latin Rite Catholic churches. ... Penance is the actual name of the Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation/ Confession. ... The Anointing of the Sick is one of the sacraments of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and some Protestant churches. ... Anabaptists (re-baptizers, from Greek ana and baptizo; in German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... The Brethren are any of several Christian denominations, most of which are Anabaptist-Pietist . ... Feet washing is a religious rite observed as an ordinance by several Christian denominations. ...


The seven sacraments accepted by Roman Catholicism are generally accepted by Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy, but these traditions do not limit the number of sacraments to these seven. ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the churches of Eastern Christian traditions that keep the faith of only the first three ecumenical councils of the undivided Church - the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus - and rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council...


The numeration, naming, and understanding of sacraments and the adoption of the remaining sacraments vary according to denomination. Note that this kind of denomination is not that of a coin or banknote. ...


Most Protestants consider only baptism and Communion, to be sacraments, as only these were directly instituted by Jesus. They believe that the other five rites are not made sacraments by the New Testament. So while almost all Protestant churches have marriage ceremonies, and many have ordained clergy and a ceremony conferring ordination, they do not consider these rites to be sacraments. The word communion can refer to the Eucharist, or the act of receiving the Eucharist; or a group of churches in full communion with each other, or the relationship of full communion between Christian religious denominations; or the Communion of Saints; or a 1976 film; see Communion (1976 movie); or... The New Testament, sometimes called the Greek Scriptures, is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written after the birth of Jesus. ... This article is about the sacrament. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ...


As is often the case, views within the churches of the Anglican Communion vary. Traditionally, Baptism and Communion are considered to be the two great sacraments of the Gospel. Anglo-Catholics have always counted the sacraments at seven. Many others do now as well, with the other five considered lesser sacraments. The catechism of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America states: "God does not limit himself to these rites; they are patterns of countless ways by which God uses material things to reach out to us." The Anglican Communion is a world-wide organisation of Anglican Churches. ... The terms Anglo-Catholic and Anglo-Catholicism describe people, groups, ideas, customs and practices within Anglicanism that emphasise continuity with Catholic tradition. ... Catechism Lesson, by Jules-Alexis Meunier, 1890 A catechism is a summary of Christian religious doctrine. ... The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the nations capital is the national cathedral of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. ...


Roman Catholics also have sacramentals, acts of worship that differ from sacraments proper, but which are also means of grace. Items such as the rosary or the various scapulars and holy medals issued by some Roman Catholic groups are counted among these sacramentals. Sacramental as an adjective means of or pertaining to sacraments. ... Our Lady of Lourdes - Mary appearing at Lourdes with Rosary Beads The Rosary (its name comes from the Latin rosarium, meaning crown of roses), is an important and traditional devotion of the Roman Catholic Church, combining prayer and meditation in sequences of ten Hail Marys, each sequence being called a... The Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel promises salvation to its wearer. ... A Medal can mean three things: a wearable medal awarded by a government for services to a country (such as Armed force service); strictly speaking this only refers to a medal of coin-like appearance, but informally the word also refers to an Order (decoration); a table medal awarded by...


For the Eastern Orthodox Christian the term “Sacrament” is a Westernism that seeks to classify something that is rather difficult to classify. Preferably the term “Mystery” is used, the reason being that the “How it is possible” is unanswerable to human understanding. God touches us through material means such as water, wine, bread, oil, incense, candles, altars, icons, etc. How he does this is a Mystery. On a broad level, the Mysteries are an affirmation of the goodness of created matter, and are an emphatic declaration of what that matter was originally created to be. On a specific level, while not systematically enumerating Mysteries, the most profound Mystery is without a doubt, the Eucharist in which direct communion with God occurs. This perceived vagueness is considered by the Orthodox to be piety and respect for something profound and incomprehensible. Orthodox do not like to try and classify things to any great degree as this is seen to be a fruitless and unnecessary waste of time. ...


The Community of Christ practices eight offical sacraments along with seeing other rites as sacramental in nature. Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA. Dedicated 1994 The Community of Christ, previously known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or RLDS church is a branch of Mormon Restorationism, and is the second largest denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement. ...


The Salvation Army does not practice formal sacraments for a variety of reasons, but does not however forbid its members from receiving sacraments in other denominations [1] (http://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/en/Library/factSheets/Sacraments.htm). The Salvation Army is a Wesleyan Christian denomination, a charity and a social services organization. ...


Quakers do not practice formal sacraments, believing that all activities should be considered holy. The Salvation Army also does not practice sacraments, believing that it is better to concentrate on the reality behind the symbols. The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ... The Salvation Army is a Wesleyan Christian denomination, a charity and a social services organization. ...


See also

Ecclesial communities contrasted in relation to Eucharistic theology: Orthodox Christianity primary theological development from early Church Fathers, esp. ... The Means of Grace in Christian teaching are ways in which the grace of God operates to bless humankind. ... In Mormonism, the Sacrament is the Lords Supper, in which participants eat bread and drink wine (or water, in the case of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since the late 1800s). ...

References

Ecumenical

The World Council of Churches (or WCC) is the principal international Christian ecumenical organization. ...

Orthodox

  • These Are the Sacraments: The Life-Giving Mysteries of the Orthodox Church by Anthony Coniaris (1981, ISBN 0937032220)

Roman Catholic

  • Doors to the Sacred: A Historical Introduction to Sacraments in the Catholic Church by Joseph Martos (2001, ISBN 0764807188)
  • Sacrament: The Language of God's Giving by David Noel Power (1999, ISBN 0824517989)

Anglican

Protestant

  • Grace Upon Grace by Gregory S. Neal (2000, ISBN 0967907403)
  • Sacraments & Discipleship: Understanding the Sacraments in a United Methodist Context by Mark W. Stamm (2001, ISBN 0881772852)
  • The Sacraments in Protestant Practice and Faith by James F. White (1999, ISBN 0687034027)

External links

  • Baptism, Eucharist, & Ministry (http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/faith/bem1.html) (an ecumenical statement by the World Council of Churches)
  • Sacramental Theology reading list (http://www.fordham.edu/Academics/Programs_at_Fordham_/Theology/Graduate_Studies/CompsSysTheo_Sacrame_8356.html)
  • The Sacraments as Means of Grace (http://www.revneal.org/Writings/sactheol.html) by Gregory Neal

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sacraments of the Catholic Church - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2042 words)
Though not every individual receives every sacrament, the sacraments as a whole are seen as necessary means of salvation for the faithful, conferring each sacrament's particular grace, such as incorporation into Christ and the Church, forgiveness of sins, or consecration for a particular service.
The Eucharist is the sacrament (the third of Christian initiation) by which Catholics partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and participate in his one sacrifice.
The sacrament is celebrated publicly in the presence of the priest (or another witness appointed by the Church) and other witnesses, though in the theological tradition of the Latin Church the ministers of the sacrament are the couple themselves.
Sacrament - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1274 words)
The numeration, naming, and understanding of sacraments and the adoption of the remaining sacraments vary according to denomination.
The seven sacraments accepted by Roman Catholicism are generally also accepted by Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy and by many in the Anglican Communion, as well, but the latter traditions do not limit the number of sacraments to seven, holding that anything the Church does as Church is in some sense sacramental.
The Salvation Army does not practice formal sacraments for a variety of reasons, including a belief that it is better to concentrate on the reality behind the symbols; however, it does not forbid its members from receiving sacraments in other denominations [1].
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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