baptism

Interdict

INTERDICT Prohibition against administering the sacraments in a village or a monastery. In the correspondence of Bishop Abraham of Hermonthis from around 600, we learn of a case in which the doing of things that were not fitting either for monks or for the laity in a monastery (we are not told anything more precise), …

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Immersion

IMMERSION It was ordained by Jesus Christ that water represents the visible sign of baptism: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:5). In conformity with Christ’s teachings, the apostles used water in administering the sacrament through complete immersion. This practice has since been followed …

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Didache

DIDACHE ديداخي/ديداكي A work, also known as The Teaching of the Apostles, discovered in 1873 by the Metropolitan Bryennios in a Greek manuscript written in 1056 (now Codex 54 in the Library of the Greek Patriarch in Jerusalem), which also contains the Epistle of Barnabas and the Epistles of Clement of Rome. The Greek text …

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Deaconess

DEACONESS A woman in charge of the sick and the poor of her own sex. In the early church, deaconesses were recognized as a distinct order of women who were vowed to perpetual chastity. They were, nevertheless, allowed to perform only certain duties in the care of women, and no sacerdotal services in the church. …

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Docetism

DOCETISM The term “docetism” comes from the Greek word dokeo (I seem, I appear), and was first used by Serapion, bishop of Antioch (190-208), to refer to certain heretics of the early church. In its earliest expression, docetism apparently grew out of the difficulties of explaining how the Son of God could be subject to …

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Absolution

ABSOLUTION The pronouncement of remission to the penitent, granting him release from the guilt of sin if he is truly contrite over his trespass, confesses to a priest, and promises not to revert to his former ways. The priest gives this absolution, not in his own name, but in the name of God, in accordance …

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