A way or process of receiving God’s grace can be called sacrament.St Augustine views it as an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.The Roman Catholics believe that the sacraments works on the person who receives it regardless of the person’s faith. This is known as ex opera operato: from work already done.

The protestant churches recognizes two sacraments – baptism and Eucharist. The reason is that they are found in the New Testament and are therefore called Dominical Sacrament. Dominical means from the Lord.

The Roman Catholics recognizes 5 sacraments – confirmation, reconciliation or penance, anointing of the sick or extreme unction, Holy Orders and marriage.

It is a ceremony mainly practiced by Roman Catholics.Another name for it is the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.A priest places a consecrated host in a monstrance.It has a glass container in the middle so that people can see the host.The priest uses it to make the sign of the cross over the congregation.

It is called sacrament of penance or absolution.It was derived when Jesus gave Peter the Petrine Commission he said:Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever.You loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matt 16:19b)

He also said to his apostlesPeace be with you! As the father has sent me, I am sending you.’And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

The Roman Catholics interprets this to mean that the priest have power to forgive sins on God’s behalf.They go to confession as often as possible. They kneel in a small room called a confessional and speak to a priest through a grille curtain.They tell him their sins committed after their last confession.They acknowledge that they are truly sorry.The priest absolves them. They may be asked to perform a penance like saying little prayers etc.

Here someone who is seriously ill or dying is blessed by the priest. The priest reads out some prayers, anoints the person five times on the eyes, ears, nose, lips and hands. The oil used for it has been blessed during the Maundy Thursday.

It can also be called ordination.A bishop lays hands on the person and the sacrament is passed on in this way.The priest has the necessary powers to function.The Anglican Church does not see it as a sacrament but call it sacramental rite.


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