The Eucharist Sacrament, Signs & Symbols
The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God’s saving presence. The seven formal sacraments are identified as; baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, reconciliation, anointing, holy orders and marriage. Sacraments entail symbols and signs. Symbols are objects or patterns that are used to represent an invisible reality. Each symbol and sign work together to make God’s love more visible for us. A sign and symbol are not the same. A sign is something that points to another reality and means what it signifies; the meaning is mostly fixed. In contrast, a symbol is a multidimensional sign that points to another reality and manifests the reality to which it points (Mueller 188).
To gain a clear understating of the sacraments and the signs and symbols associated with them a brief summary is vital. Baptism (water) is necessary to salvation, because without it we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. Reconciliation or Penance is a Sacrament in which the sins committed after Baptism is forgiven. The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament which contains the body and blood, soul of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. Confirmation is a Sacrament through which we receive the Holy Spirit to make us strong and perfect Christians. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the Sacrament which unites a Christian man and woman in lawful marriage. Holy Orders is the sacrament that bishops, priests, and other ministers of the Church are ordained and receive the power and grace to perform their sacred duties. To receive Holy Orders worthily it is necessary to be in the state of grace, to have the necessary knowledge and a divine call to this sacred office. Anointing of the sick is the Sacrament which, through the anointing and prayer of a priest, gives health and strength to the soul, and sometimes to the body,...
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