Matrimony

The Sacraments

The Sacraments The word sacrament historically was used for something sacred. The Latin term sacramentum was used to translate the New Testament word for mystery. In a broad sense all religious rites and ceremonies were called sacraments. In time, the term sacrament took on a more precise and narrow meaning. A sacrament became defined as …

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Absolution

ABSOLUTION The Absolution is a prayer recited by a priest begging from God the remission of the sins of the people or of an individual repentant in accordance with the authority given in the Gospels (Matt. 16:18, 18:18; John 20:23). In the Coptic language, the word for this prayer means “freedom.” A special feast for …

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Candles

CANDLES Candles have been used in churches since the early days of Christianity on many occasions. According to Ibn al-‘Assal’s Kitab al-Qawanin (Book of Canon Law) and the DIDASCALIA, candles must be lighted during all services, a reference to the words of Jesus Christ, “I have come as a light into the world” (Jn. 12:46). …

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Celibacy

CELIBACY The unmarried state, particularly of clergy who are so bound by a solemn vow. Although matrimony is one of the seven holy sacraments and is likened to the union between Christ and the church (Eph. 5:31, 32), ascetic celibacy is regarded as a superior state, as it relieves men from earthly attachments and prepares …

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Blessing

BLESSING The blessing is a liturgical gesture by which the priest or the bishop makes the sign of the cross over the oblation, the water, or icon. The blessing may also mean a special prayer for the blessing of food or a house. The blessing is inspired by the gesture of Christ in Mark 10:16. …

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Priest

PRIEST The priest is mentioned several times in the New Testament. Christ chose a number of men and named them apostles (; ). By the full authority that was committed to Him, He commanded them to go forth and baptize people everywhere and teach them to observe His commandments. They alone were given the power …

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Joseph The Carpenter

JOSEPH THE CARPENTER A saint and spouse of the Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus Christ (feast day: 26 Abib). Biblical Accounts In the New Testament Joseph is mentioned in the accounts of the birth and childhood of Jesus (Mt. 1-2; Lk. 1-2) and also in Luke (3:23, 4:22) and John (1:45, 6:42) …

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Lord’s Prayer

LORD’S PRAYER The model prayer taught by Jesus Christ to His disciples in Matthew 6:9-13 and in Luke 11:2-4, but in different contexts and in slightly differing words. In Matthew it follows an instruction on prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, and in Luke it is given by Christ to His disciples in answer …

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Liturgy Of Baptism

LITURGY OF BAPTISM The office of holy baptism comprises four sections: (1) absolution of the woman; (2) renunciation of the devil; (3) sanctification of the water of the font; and (4) loosening of the girdle of the baptized. The Absolution of the Woman When a woman has given birth to a male child, at the …

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