Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are the two sacraments instituted by Christ for his Church to perpetually celebrate. We call these the Sacraments of the Lord.
There are five other rites of the Church that are sacramental in nature. We call these the sacraments of the Church. They flow from Baptism and Eucharist, and don’t have a life of their own. Nevertheless, they are important sacramental moments in a Christian’s life.
- Ministers are set apart through ordination.
- A man and a woman are set apart through marriage.
- A believer professes his or her faith and is set apart for ministry through the Holy Spirit by the hand of the Bishop, called confirmation.
- Reconciliation (confession) is a sacramental rite in which a person can be assured of forgiveness.
- A person’s body and soul are set apart for death by prayer and laying on of hands (used to be called “last rites”).
Sacramental theology also affects our attitude toward the physical stuff of life, especially in rites of passages. This involves things like rings, cups, tables, churches, people, the human body, and other basic, physical objects and bodies. These things are revered, not due to inherent qualities but due to the purpose. Sacramental theology challenges us in the belief that God is always at work, everywhere, and through everything. We should not divide up the world and our faith into numbered quantities, but trust that he is everywhere working.