Armenian Cross – Grapes Armenian Cross – Grapes

The word Sacrament comes from the Latin Sacrare which means to dedicate. Thus a sacrament is a rite which not only signifies some specific grace, but which produces that grace in the soul of the person to whom it is administered.

What is grace? It is that which makes us fulfill our mission as children of God. That is to say, the grace is a power which takes us out of ourselves and makes us active citizens of the kingdom of God.

Therefore, the Sacraments as such are means, are electric wires, so to speak, through which the soul of the creature receives spiritual strength.

Each Sacrament requires an inward and an outward expression. The one is used to symbolise and explain the other. The outward, for example, in the Sacrament of Baptism, is the water, which symbolises the cleansing of the original sin, from the soul of the child, which of course is something inward. Since the Sacraments imprint a “character” and produce grace in our souls, and since the way through which we became sons of God was Jesus Christ, therefore, it is conceivable that only Christ could have instituted the Sacraments. The New Testaments records this.

The Sacraments have coherence and unity, and thus they correspond to the different stages and situations of a man’s life.

  1. BAPTISM [Mgrdootioun] – Birth is necessary to begin a life; baptism is necessary so that the child could start a new life as a child of God.
  2. CONFIRMATION [Odzoom, Droshm] – Confirmation or Holy Anointment is the Sacrament of receiving the gifts and spiritual graces of the Holy Spirit through the anointing of nine parts of the body with Holy Oil (Myooron) after the Baptism.
  3. PENANCE [Abashkharootioun] – Man through sin loses his sonship, but in penance sins are forgiven, and he becomes a clean soul again.
  4. HOLY EUCHARIST [Haghordootioun] – The worldly life needs nourishment. The soul needs spiritual good to keep alive, and to grow in the kingdom of God.
  5. MATRIMONY [Besak] – In the process of “growing up” and trying to bring his world-life to completeness, men and women join their lives together for mutual helpfulness and procreation of human race for the glory of God.
  6. HOLY ORDERS [Dzernatrootioun] – Men dedicate their lives directly to God, and to his service in Church, teaching and developing a spiritual life in the community.
  7. ORDER OF THE SICK [Gark hivantats] – Last Sacrament – Our frail bodies get sick and do need medicine and treatment, in the same way our souls need care. This Sacrament heals the soul and the body of the sick.

The reception of the Sacraments is open to anyone, provided that he has been baptized. Since baptism is the Sacrament of life, then that person should have been born from the water and the Holy Spirit so that he should receive the other Sacraments.

Why are the Sacraments necessary? Because:

  • They are means most adapted to man’s nature, through which he receives grace and also has the assurance of having it received.
  • They constitute a relationship between Christ’s body, the church, and the individual. And as individuals, men do need signs in order to know that something has occurred.
  • All things known to men are known through the senses and are expressed through the use of our senses, therefore, the administration of the Sacraments witnessed by men and performed on men produce the grace.
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