Sacraments

From the Anglican Catechism
102. What is a sacrament?
A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. God gives us the sign as a means whereby we receive that grace, and as a tangible assurance that we do in fact receive it. (1662 Catechism)

103. How should you receive the sacraments?
I should receive the sacraments by faith in Christ, with repentance and thanksgiving. Christ is necessary to receive grace, and obedience to Christ is necessary for the benefits of the sacraments to bear fruit in my life. (1662 Catechism; Articles of Religion, 28)

Christians have traditionally been known to speak about “Seven Sacraments,” or maybe, “Two Sacraments.” As an Anglican congregation, we do celebrate all 7 sacraments, but we make a distinction between Baptism and Eucharist and the other five: Anointing the Sick, Absolution, Marriage, Ordination, and Confirmation. The 2 Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist are for all believers and are commanded by the Lord Jesus, while the other 5 are a bit different. For example, not everyone will get married or become an Ordained minister.

“The Church is the sacrament of the Kingdom,” one Christian thinker wrote. A sacrament is a Christian practice that is both visible and invisible. In Baptism, the visible is the water, and the invisible is Jesus’ resurrection life (1 Peter 3:20-21).

On this page, you will find links to longer articles on the Sacraments, what they mean and how we observe them.

Baptism
Immersion, or pouring, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for those coming to Faith in Christ as adults and for children who are brought into the convented community of God’s people with the faith of their parents. Baptism is usually administered by a priest, but may also be given by a deacons or, in cases of emergency, a lay person.

After the water, the person is anointed with oil, in the sign of the cross, on the forehead with pray for strengthening from the Holy Spirit.

Eucharist (in development)
Called the “medicine of immortality,” by Ignatius of Antioch. This meal of bread and wine mixed with water is the sign and symbol of Jesus’ once for all death upon the cross. The Table where the elements of bread and wine are blessed is open to all water baptized believers, as see in the practice of the New Testament and early Church.

Bishops and priests celebrate at the Lord’s Table, consecrating the elements to be, by God’s Word and Spirit, Christ’s body and blood. At the Table, we behold Him who takes away the sins of the world, feeding on Him in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

Absolution
The formal pronouncement by the bishop or a priest of the forgiveness of sins to all who sincerely repent of their sin. This is done in public worship after the General Confession, and it may also be done in pastoral counseling by the Bishop or a priest. There is also a time set aside in worship for those who have grown cold in their faith and obedience to Christ who seek reconciliation with God in the Church.

Anointing the Sick
The sick, infirm, oppressed, and those near physical death, are anointing with consecrated oil for healing, deliverance, and peace. All clergy anointing with holy oil, and all lay persons are encouraged to pray for those in need of the Lord’s healing, saving hand. Lay members are encouraged to inform their clergy when they pray for those in need.

Marriage
In God’s plan, marriage is the life-long commitment between one man and one woman. The marriage bed to be kept pure. Marriage is a sacrament of Christ’s union with the Church. It is more than a civil contract, and is a living sign in the Church and to the world Christ’s faithfulness to His people and of her devotion to Him. Pre-marital counseling is part of our marriage preparations. Healing is offered to those wounded in wayward marriages, and for those who have suffered divorce.

Confirmation
The official laying on of hands by the Bishop to confirm and strengthen the faith of the recipient.  This rite brings official recognition into the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church,” as embodied in the Anglican tradition. Also a time to impart new spiritual gifts, and release into ministry, within the life of the local church.

Ordination
Those leaders who have been authorized by the Holy Spirit through the Church to shepherd, equip, and lead people into the fullness of Christ in Word and Sacrament (Eph. 4:11-17). Bishops, priests, and deacons are the officers in the Church.

Declaring Christ is King

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