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Encyclopedia > Sacred Mysteries

The term Sacred Mysteries is used in the Eastern Churches to refer to what the Western Church calls Sacraments and Sacramentals. In the Early Church they were kept hidden from the pagans, lest they become objects of ridicule. As the Age of Persecution shifted from persecution of Christians to persecution by Christians, the secrecy was gradually relaxed. But the term continued to be used. The term Eastern Church is variously used to refer to: The Eastern Orthodox Church, or Any of the Oriental Orthodox churches, or Any of the Eastern Rite Catholic churches, or The three groups collectively, when speaking of things they share in common with each other but not with Western churches. ... The term Great Schism refers to either of two splits in the history of Christianity: Most commonly, it refers to the great East-West Schism, the event that separated Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Roman Catholicism in the eleventh century (1054). ... A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace. ... Sacramentals are things (sacramentalia) set apart or blessed by the Catholic Church to manifest the respect due to the Sacraments, and so to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these movements of the heart to remit venial sin, according to the Council of Trent (Session XXII, 15). ... The Early Christians is a term used to refer to the early followers of Jesus of Nazareth, before the emergence of established Christian orthodoxy. ... Paganism is a catch-all term which has come to bundle together (by extension from its original classical meaning of a pre-Christian religion) a very broad set of not necessarily compatible religious beliefs and practices that are usually, but not necessarily, characterized by polytheism and, less commonly, animism. ... Although there have been many persecutions, The Age of Persecution began in A. D. 64 with the persecution of Christians in Rome by Nero and ended in A. D. 313 with Constantines Edict of Milan. ...


The terms Sacrament and Sacramental are terms, which the Western Church has carefully defined in Canon Law. Thus, for instance, the Council of Trent declared there to be exactly seven sacraments. The Eastern Churches, in contrast, have never defined the Mysteries in such precise terms. And, though the Western Church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine of the Eucharist are one Sacrament, the Divine Liturgy refers to the Eucharist as Mysteries in the plural. The term Great Schism refers to either of two splits in the history of Christianity: Most commonly, it refers to the great East-West Schism, the event that separated Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Roman Catholicism in the eleventh century (1054). ... In Western culture, canon law is the law of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. ... The Council of Trent (Italian: Trento) was an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church held in discontinuous sessions between 1545 and 1563 in response to the Protestant Reformation. ... A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace. ... The term Eastern Church is variously used to refer to: The Eastern Orthodox Church, or Any of the Oriental Orthodox churches, or Any of the Eastern Rite Catholic churches, or The three groups collectively, when speaking of things they share in common with each other but not with Western churches. ... The term Great Schism refers to either of two splits in the history of Christianity: Most commonly, it refers to the great East-West Schism, the event that separated Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Roman Catholicism in the eleventh century (1054). ... To consecrate an inaminate object is to dedicate it in a ritual to a special purpose, usually religious. ... The Eucharist is either the celebration of the Christian sacrament commemorating Christ’s Last Supper, or the consecrated bread and wine of this sacrament. ... The Divine Liturgy is the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern-Rite Catholic eucharistic service. ...


See also: Holy Sacraments Holy Scaraments Sacraments of the Eastern Churches are composed of prayers, hymns, scripture lessons, gestures and processions. ...


External Links

Catholic Encyclopedia: Discipline of the Secret


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CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Ash Wednesday (419 words)
And then he enforces this recommendation by the terrible example of a man who refused to go to church for the ashes on Ash Wednesday and who a few days after was accidentally killed in a boar hunt (Ælfric, Lives of Saints, ed.
It is possible that the notion of penance which was suggested by the rite of Ash Wednesday was was reinforced by the figurative exclusion from the sacred mysteries symbolized by the hanging of the Lenten veil before the sanctuary.
But on this and the practice of beginning the fast on Ash Wednesday see L
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