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Author Topic: How is each sacrament performed? What is the necessary component?  (Read 2653 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« Reply #45 on: July 29, 2011, 10:30:47 AM »

I am interested in learning what is the defining physical component for each sacrament in each church (all orthodox and catholic churches). So I'm looking for answers like, laying on of hands, anointing with oil, breathing, etc. Explain each sacrament in detail and tell me which rite (Russian Orthodox, greek orthoodox, etc) you are explaining. For communion, explain what must be done to change the bread and wine. Please don't say something like 'there has to repentance,' or 'there has to be fasting,' etc. I am just interested in learning what is the visible component--namely the action done by the priest/bishop. So, for Chrismation in the Coptic churuch, the answer is: a person is annointed with oil in about 40 places. (i don't think the priest breathes or lays hands on him).

I am particularly interested in marriage and confession. I am a little concerned that my priest is not giving me confession the right way. Also, someone brought to my attention that the latin catholic rite for marriage is not correct, (meaning they do not become married).

Thanks,


Also, please pray for me.
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« Reply #46 on: July 29, 2011, 01:03:45 PM »

Wow. guys. These teachings really sound different from the Orthodoxy I grew up with. I always thought that there was exactly seven sacraments and that the number seven in the bible always represents the seven sacraments. I also thought that for an Orthodox person to get a marriage outside the church is always sinful.

I feel very confused now. Either, my whole life I have been misled, suffering in vain. Or, you guys are misleading me right now, abandoning Orthodoxy for some flashy Americanism religion.

Can someone recommend some books by early church fathers that discuss these topics?

There are divergence in practice and teaching that the Oriental Orthodox have from main line Orthodox Christianity. You will find books from Orthodox sources that talk about the 7 Sacraments but, if you study and understand what sacraments are you begin to realize there are so many more then just the typical 7. This idea of 7 is a Western concept that is sometimes used in order to help people from that background understand Orthodoxy.

You should understand that when you ask a question outside of one of the Oriental boards your answer will be majority from the Chalcedonian Orthodox perspective.
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« Reply #47 on: July 29, 2011, 07:45:21 PM »

So, in conclusion, are civil marriages okay? Please answer.





Also, pray for me. I feel so lost after what I've just learned.
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« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2011, 08:46:26 PM »

Good thing we aren't sola scripturists.  Wink

Marriage was a "late comer" to the "official" list of sacraments. But, we have to remember that even that list of seven is very Latin, and doesn't exist in the East. I've seen "lists" of mysteries that include up to fourteen different services!

Marriage used to be the sole domain of the state, if you remember.

Whoa! Benjamin, you are opening up my mind to completely new ideas. You must either be a super-liberal foolish, or a very highly-illuminated orthodox guru.

So you're saying that the church didn't have this list of seven sacraments from day one? I thought this was a tradition recieved directly from the apostles. This is strange to me since the number seven is mentioned so many times in the bible. I'm not sure how old the coptic psalmody is, but in it they liken the seven lamps of the old testament candlestand to the seven sacraments. Also, even though Arians and Nestorians didn't have the same sacraments, they did have exactly seven.

I don't think funeral procedures should be a sacrament since it is done after the person has died. Consecrating a church is done to a building, not to a human being, so it cannot be a sacrament. Why don't you feel that monastic (i don't know what tonsure means) should be included in holy orders?


 I thought we view all non-sacramental marriages as invalid and consider the couple to be fornicators. Are you saying that it was okay in the early church to have a marriage done by the state?


The number seven is very important in Christianity, and it no doubt played into the West's consideration when they chose the number. But, as has been stated earlier, no such limitations existed for fifteen hundred years.

In an Orthodox funeral, the newly-departed is prayed for, anointed with oil and given a final absolution. That sounds very sacramental to me. Why are sacraments limited to people? Mysteries are simply the grace of God being bestowed upon his Church. The consecration of a temple is certainly a grace-filled mystery, in spite of it not being done to a person, it is something done for the Church. And tonsuring of a monastic isn't quite the same as holy orders. It isn't a specific dispensation for a liturgical role, it is simply the consecration of a human being to a specific way of life, much like marriage, but is surely is a very serious grace-filled mystery.

I'm not saying that marriage wasn't originally seen as sacramental. St. Paul speaks very clearly about the sacramentality of marriage in his epistles. However, the marriage service was civil before being taken over by the Church. The civil service would be conducted, and then the union blessed by the Church. Later on, the Churches role in blessing the marriage grew into an entire service. Both ways are sacramental, and were seen that way at the time. I'm not saying marriage "became" a sacrament later, I'm saying that the marriage service as it is today was a later development. The understanding of marriage, however, is ancient.



So, in conclusion, are civil marriages okay? Please answer.

Also, pray for me. I feel so lost after what I've just learned.

No. An Orthodox Christian is to be married in the Church. If he or she is married without the blessing of the Church, it is fornication.

However, if a non-Orthodox couple has a civil ceremony, and later come to Orthodoxy, they should be received into the Church as a married couple.
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« Reply #49 on: July 29, 2011, 10:09:12 PM »

I don't know for sure at which point a sacrament is effective, but I think some of the posts above that discuss the process, such as the Proskomidi (Preparation) service being an important aspect of the Preparation of Holy Communion, as is the Consecration, are probably more to the point than a specific action.

A young priest who thought that the joining of the hands was the moment that the Sacrament (Mystery) of Holy Matrimony is effectuated, asked his bishop his opinion.  The bishop replied, the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is a continuous process, from the beginning of the service, "Blessed is our God..." to the conclusion "Through the prayers..," when the mystery of the sacrament is effective.  (This reminds me of the Western practice, "I now pronounce you husband and wife," sometimes done by Orthodox clergy, is consistant with the bishop's explanation indicated herein, except for the "I" being inconsistent with Orthodox teaching.)

A few comments about practices I've seen noted above, my experience being from the GOAA:  

At the conclusion of the Funeral Service, the deceased is anointed with oil by the priest in the form of the cross, upon the chest, "Sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be cleansed, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow;" having previously been sprinkled in the form of the cross with dirt (ground), "Earth thou art and to Earth thou shall return."

In the Sacrament of Holy Confession, the priest places his stole over the penitent's head, who is kneeling, when reading the prayer of absolution.  As to the "breathing," it could be on his own initiative, a priest, suspecting demonic influence, breathes as he does during the Baptism, "Expel from him/her every evil and impure spirit hiding and lurking in his/her heart (3);" just my own guess, not a practice during Confession I've ever seen.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 10:29:28 PM by Basil 320 » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: July 30, 2011, 12:27:26 AM »

No. An Orthodox Christian is to be married in the Church. If he or she is married without the blessing of the Church, it is fornication.

I agree that high standards ought to be maintained but it is not quite as black and white as all that.

Please go back to message 41, the position of the Russian Orthodox Church.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38246.msg610149.html#msg610149
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« Reply #51 on: July 30, 2011, 02:54:29 PM »

No. An Orthodox Christian is to be married in the Church. If he or she is married without the blessing of the Church, it is fornication.

I agree that high standards ought to be maintained but it is not quite as black and white as all that.

Please go back to message 41, the position of the Russian Orthodox Church.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38246.msg610149.html#msg610149

Father, bless.

Of course my statement is an oversimplification. As I stated originally, marriage has long been a purview of the state, and the Church recognizes that. This is why, when married converts are received, they are received as married, and do not have to be "married" within the Church.

I also believe that, in Russia, the above statement is useful, given the closeness of the Russian Church and state prior to the Revolution, and as economy for the reception of those Orthodox who had civil marriages under the Soviet regime. It makes a lot of sense.

However, I'm not sure that also means that I, as an Orthodox Christian, could run off with some girl and get married in a civil service without the blessing of the Church and that would be all right. It wouldn't be. There would certainly be penance involved for me, and for her as well if she is Orthodox. Woe to me more so if I marry someone who isn't Orthodox, or isn't even Christian. However, will the Church consider us excommunicate until we marry in the Church? And what if she is not Orthodox? Not Christian? What then? That is the decision of the bishop. If we are required to have a Church marriage in order to return to full communion, the bishop is within his authority to require that. If something less is required (e.g., a simple blessing and time of penance) that is within his mercy.

Please, Father, correct me if I am wrong.
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