Author Topic: Valid sacraments  (Read 2517 times)

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Offline Vlad

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Valid sacraments
« on: September 27, 2008, 02:37:25 AM »
What makes a sacrament valid in the eyes of the OC? Do Anglican,lutherans, Methodists etc.. have a valid eucharist?

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2008, 02:49:16 AM »
No to all 3.  Orthodox do not receive the Eucharist in those Jurisdictions.

Offline zebu

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2008, 02:56:10 AM »
Sacraments are authentic if they are performed within the Body of Christ, which is the Orthodox Church.  While we make no definitive claims about where the Holy Spirit works and where He does not, we believe that it is quite clear that there the Body of Christ is visible, it exists in the form of the Orthodox Church, and we believe that there are no sacraments outside the Body of Christ, as doing so would divide Christ and the Bible states that this just isn`t possible.  

However, I should point out that this is a different stance from that of the Roman Catholic Church, which studies other churches (such as the Anglican Church), and produces documents stating that for such and such reason, their sacraments are invalid.  We do not say that the heterodox sacraments are necessarily of no effect, just that as far as we are concerned, there are no sacraments outside the one church of Christ, the Orthodox Church.

At the same time though, obviously as humans we like to make judgments and have everything all nice and neat and understandable, so you do find people within the Orthodox Church with a more definitive stance: There are those who say that the Roman Catholic sacraments are valid, and there are those who say that the Roman Catholic sacraments are most certainly without grace (in my experience this is the most common view). I don`t think that I have ever heard anyone say that the Protestants have sacraments though.  But I think most Orthodox could agree that as Orthodox Christians, we know we are receiving the Mysteries, and that what other people are doing doesn`t really concern us.
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2008, 07:12:26 AM »
What makes a sacrament valid in the eyes of the OC? Do Anglican,lutherans, Methodists etc.. have a valid eucharist?
If by this you mean can Orthodox receive Communion in these religions, no. We may only receive from a bishop who is in communion, and none of their bishops are. However, they do often perform the Eucharist in a way remarkably similar to ours, so we cannot judge whether their sacraments are blessed. It is up to God to determine what is acceptable worship. Either it is acceptable to Him, or they just had a very small, very elaborate snack. In either case, since they do not understand the nature of the Church, I do not believe it will be held against them. That is just my belief, though; I have no way of knowing for sure.
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Offline username!

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2008, 09:10:36 AM »
What makes a sacrament valid in the eyes of the OC? Do Anglican,lutherans, Methodists etc.. have a valid eucharist?

I see you are inquiring into Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism.  May God grant you a happy and comforting journey. 
In Roman Catholic terms the Anglican, Lutheran and Methodists have an invalid Eucharist.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2008, 09:15:56 AM »
What makes a sacrament valid in the eyes of the OC? Do Anglican,lutherans, Methodists etc.. have a valid eucharist?

The Orthodox Church does not determine validity or invalidity of Sacraments outside of herself.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2008, 10:14:41 AM »


The Orthodox Church does not determine validity or invalidity of Sacraments outside of herself.


Period. No further comment necessary.
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Offline Heracleides

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2008, 03:01:12 PM »
Excellent treatment of this topic at the following site: http://paruchia.blogspot.com/2006/03/valid-orders.html

Here is a brief excerpt:

"Thus, the entire concept of Orders and Sacraments as held and taught by the Orthodox Church is completely different from that commonly held by most of the non-Orthodox, Western religious world. Most religious bodies claiming any kind of traditional-based ministry hold a view (usually called “Augustinian” after a rather vague remark in one of St. Augustine of Hippo’s writings) that Orders and Sacraments are a totally separate entity, and that, once obtained by any one, can be “used” and “transmitted” and a “succession” established, without regard to the ecclesiastical allegiance of the person, even if he travels from one church or jurisdiction to another, or even invents his own. Contrariwise, Orthodoxy holds that the whole Sacramental System including Orders is the sacred Property of the Church, and may be bestowed, held and transmitted solely within its Unity by its own accredited hierarchy acting in accordance with the united will of the Church. There are therefore, in Orthodox eyes, no such separate “commodities” as “Roman Catholic” or “Anglican” or “Lutheran” or “Old Catholic” Orders, whatever these religious bodies may hold. It is true that any organization, religious or secular, is free to make up its own regulations for its membership, and to use whatever terminology for its officers and ceremonial procedures, ancient or modern; it may call its officers “bishops” or “priests” and suchlike. But these are NOT the same as those held and administered by Orthodox clergy within the Unity of the Orthodox Church, but are completely different.

Undoubtedly God will have mercy and compassion on all His creation, including those devout and sincere souls who grew up in religious beliefs apart from Orthodoxy; He will surely take into account their fidelity to the principles they were taught and consider to be “church teaching” even though they are not what the One continuing Church of Christ has always held and taught. This is not the issue. The point IS that Christ founded only ONE Church, not many; and of all the competing religious bodies calling themselves “Christian” and “Catholic” and other such terms, only ONE is in actual fact the continuing Church which He founded. And this is the Orthodox Church"


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« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 03:02:15 PM by Heracleides »
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2008, 04:30:37 PM »


The Orthodox Church does not determine validity or invalidity of Sacraments outside of herself.


Period. No further comment necessary.

I agree. When I was still attending the un-canonical Milan Synod parish, I asked one good Orthodox priest whom some of you may know (but I won't reveal his name :) ): look, maybe their Eucharist is valid? I do prepare for it reverently, and it did, in fact, change my entire life, - so, how do we know? And he said: but we don't, we really don't! Maybe it is! Maybe! But we do know for sure that OUR Eucharist is Jesus Christ. There is no "maybe" in the last statement. I believe he really nailed it...
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Offline Keble

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 07:08:24 PM »
The eucharist is really the wrong sacrament to be used as the test case; orders and especially baptism are more fruitful. In the last case the "we don't know" answer doesn't work, because in practice converts either have to be rebaptized, or they don't. I don't know whether the Orthodox use a conditional baptism rite, but if they do, and it isn't being used on converts, then in practice a definite decision on validity has been made. Some groups use economy and do not rebaptize, in which case a certain limited validity is granted; others insist on rebaptism, in which case they in practice deny validity.

Offline zebu

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2008, 08:15:05 PM »
Baptism? The way this was explained to me when I was a catechumen (an Episcopalian converting to Orthodoxy this way: The Orthodox Church believes that it alone is the Body of Christ, and that outside the Body of Christ, there are no sacraments or salvation insofar as we know of for certain, though it is quite evident to all of us from our own experiences that the Holy Spirit works outside the Church.  However, since the official teaching is that there are no sacraments outside the Church, then everyone is in need of baptism. To be honest, with this teaching, I am confused about why some people are then only chrismated into the Church.  Oh well.
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Offline Veniamin

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Re: Valid sacraments
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2008, 08:26:13 PM »
Baptism? The way this was explained to me when I was a catechumen (an Episcopalian converting to Orthodoxy this way: The Orthodox Church believes that it alone is the Body of Christ, and that outside the Body of Christ, there are no sacraments or salvation insofar as we know of for certain, though it is quite evident to all of us from our own experiences that the Holy Spirit works outside the Church.  However, since the official teaching is that there are no sacraments outside the Church, then everyone is in need of baptism. To be honest, with this teaching, I am confused about why some people are then only chrismated into the Church.  Oh well.

The explanation I've received regarding that is that Chrismation retroactively makes the baptism an Orthodox one, filling in whatever was lacking or defective, so long as there was a proper form to fill.
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