SACRAMENTS

WHAT IS A SACRAMENT?
A sacrament is a Christian ceremony in which physical objects are used to pass on God’s blessing to the believer. There are in all several sacraments in Christianity.

ANOINTING THE SICK
Anointing the sick is a sacrament in which olive oil is used to rub or anoint a sick person. This is done by elders in the church. The elders then pray for the sick person to be restored to health.


MARRIAGE
In marriage, the person getting married blesses each other. The ring being a circle, symbolize the eternal love that should be shared in the marriage. The man and woman make vows of commitment in front of witnesses as well as in God’s presence.


CONFESSIONS / RECONCILIATION
In the Catholic Church, people can go to a priest to confess their sins. This is done at a private area in the church called the confessional. The priest as God’s representative on earth offers the person pardon for their sins.


ORDINATION
Ordination is the sacrament in which new priests are ordained. When a new priest is chosen he kneels before the bishop. The bishop lays his hand on the candidate’s head and prays for them to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to carry out the responsibilities of being a priest.


CONFIRMATION
Confirmation is a sacrament in which a person who received infant baptism can now declare their intent to become a professing Christian. This sacrament is done in the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox Church. Confirmation is a sacrament that is carried out by a bishop. The candidate kneels before the bishop who places his hand on the person’s head and prays for them to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a Christian life. This “laying on of hands” is a tradition that symbolizes the Holy Spirit being transferred.


BAPTISM
The word baptism comes from the Greek word “baptismos” which means to wash. The act of baptism is symbolic of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. The water used as the physical object of blessing is a symbol of cleansing. 

There are two types of baptisms; infant baptism and believer’s baptism. Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglican churches practice infant baptism. Other denominations (protestant churches) do not believe it is practical to baptize babies. They believe it is better to perform adult baptism at the age when the candidate is able to make their own decision to become a Christian.


HOLY COMMUNION

Holy Communion is the Christian ceremony in which bread and wine are blessed and eaten in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice. Holy Communion is also known as Lord’s Supper, The Last Supper, Eucharist, and Mass. 

Holy Communion was first started by Jesus the night before He was crucified. He had the traditional Jewish Passover meal with his disciples. He took bread and wine, blessed it and told his disciples that the bread was a symbol of his body and the wine a symbol of his blood. He instructed them to keep the Holy Communion as a way of remembering his death as a payment for the sins of mankind.

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