Sacraments
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Communion
Baptism
Chrismation
Marriage
Confession
Penance
Holy Unction
Ordination

The Sarcaments

Communion

The Holy Communion or the Eucharist is the oldest experience of Christian Worship as well as the most distinctive. Holy Communion comes from the Greek word, which means "thanksgiving." Eucharist comes from the Greek word, for "community". In a particular sense, Communion or Eucharist the Church's attitude toward all of life. The origin of the Communion is traced back to the Last Supper at which Christ instructed His disciples to offer bread and wine in His memory. Communion is the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. It is true that Communion is to participate in the mystery of salvation.
Communion is given during the Divine Liturgy

Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism incorporates us into the Church, the body of Christ, and is our introduction to the new-life and to the Holy Trinity. Water is a natural symbol of cleansing and newness of life. The threefold immersion in the waters of Baptism is in the name of the Holy Trinity. One dies to the old ways of sin and is born to a new life in Christ. Baptism is one's public identification with Christ Death and victorious Resurrection. Following the custom for the early Church, Orthodoxy encourages the Baptisms of both infants and adults. The Church believes that the Sacrament is bearing witness to the action of God who chooses a child or an adult to be an important member of His people, His royal priesthood. From the day of their baptism, children and adults are expected to mature in the life of the Spirit, through their family and the Church. The Baptism of adult is practiced where there was no previous Baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismation

The Sacrament of Chrismation immediately follows Baptism. As the ministry of Christ was enlivened by the Spirit, and the preaching of the Apostles strengthened by the Spirit, so is the life of each Orthodox Christian sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

In the Sacrament of Chrismation, the priest anoints the various parts of the body of the newly-baptizes with Holy Oil saying "The Seal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit" The Holy Oil, which is blessed by the Patriarch, is a sign of consecration and strength. The Sacrament emphasizes the truth that not only is each person a valuable member of the Church, but also each one is blessed by the Spirit with certain gifts and talents. The anointing also reminds us that our bodies are valuable and are involved in the process of salvation.

Marriage

The Church welcomes the opportunity to unify couples in the holy sacrament of marriage. God is active in our lives. It is He who joins a man and women in a relationship of mutual love. The Sacrament of Marriage bears witness to His action. Though this Sacrament, a man and women are publicly joined as husband and wife. They enter into a new relationship with each other, God, and the Church. Since Marriage is not viewed as legal contract, there are no vows in the Sacrament. According to Orthodox teaching, Marriage is not simply social institution, it is an eternal vocation of the kingdom. A husband and wife are called by the Holy Spirit not only live together but also share their Christian life together so that each, with aid of the other, may grow closer to God and become the people they are meant to be. In the Orthodox Marriage Service, after the couples have been betrothed and exchange rings, they are crowned with "crowns of glory and honor" signifying the establishment of a new family under God. Near the conclusion of the service, the husband and wife drink from the common cup which is reminiscent of the wedding in Cana and which symbolized the sharing of the burdens and joys of their new life together.

Confession

Confession is the Sacrament through which our sins are forgiven, and our relationship to God and to others is restored and strengthen. Though the Sacrament, Christ our Lord continues to heal those broken in spirit and to restore the Father's Love to those who are lost. According to Orthodox teaching, the parishioner confesses to God and is forgiven by God before the priest. The priest is the Sacramental witness who represent both Christ and His people. The priest is viewed not as a judge, but as a physician and guide. It is an ancient Orthodox practice for every Christian to have a spiritual father to whom one turns for spiritual advice and counsel. Confession can take place on any number of occasions. In the event of serious sin, however, Confession is a necessary preparation for Holy Communion.

Confession is also part of our total spiritual preparation during the fast periods leading up to Great Feast of Pascha, Christmas, the falling Asleep of the Theotokos and the Feast of Twelve Apostles.

Penance

Penance helps us in our journey to repentance and then to reconciliation to Christ and His body, the Church. For when we sin we have been torn asunder by sin. For, "If one member suffers, all suffer together"
(1 Corinthians 12:26)



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Holy Unction

On the afternoon or evening of Great and Holy Wednesday, the sacrament or Mystery of Holy Unction is conducted in Orthodox parishes in America. The sacrament of Holy Unction is offered for the healing of soul and body and for forgiveness of sins. At the conclusion of the service of the sacrament, the body is anointed with oil and grace of God. which heals infirmities of soul and body, is called down upon each person. Orthodoxy does not view this sacrament as available only to those who are near death. It is offered to allow who are sick in body, mind, and/or spirit.

The express purpose of the sacrament of Holy Unction is healing and forgiveness. Since it is not always the will of God that there should be physical healing, the prayer of Christ that God's will be done always remains as the proper context of the sacrament. In addition, it is clear intention of the sacrament that though the anointing of the sick body, the suffering of the person should be sanctified and united to the suffering of Christ. In this way, the wounds of the flesh are consecrated, and strength is given that the suffering of diseased person may not be unto death of his soul, but for eternal salvation in the resurrection and life of the kingdom of God.

Ordination

The Holy Spirit preserved the continuity of the Church though the sacrament of Holy Ordination. Though ordination, men who have been chosen from within the church are set apart by the church for a special service to the Church. Each is called by God though his people to stand amid the community, as pastor and teacher, and as the representative of the parish before the altar. Each is also a living icon of Christ among his people.

The Bishop alone, who acts in the name of the universal Church, can ordain a priest or deacon. He does so with the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the imposition of his hands on the person being ordained.


These are 1.) Bishop, which is viewed as a successor of the Apostles; 2.) Priest and 3.) Deacon. Each order is distinguished by its pastoral responsibilities. Only a Bishop may ordain a priest or deacon. At least three bishops acting together are required to ordain a fellow bishop.

Often, other titles and offices are associated with the three orders. The Orthodox Church permits men to marry, before they are ordained. Both priest and deacons may choose either celibate or married life, however bishops are selected from only the celibate priests of a Church. All three clergy Rank for are necessary fora a vibrant Church community, and all three are charged with performing the saving work of Jesus Christ in this life.