One of Seven Holy Sacraments…

The Seven Sacraments
Honored and held in Reverence
by this ministry and our church affiliations of
The Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry, The Evangelical Church of the Celtic Cross, The Old Universal Church of the Celtic Cross and
The Independent Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross

By Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., Th.D., M.R.Php., B.D.,    O.S.A., O.S.P., O.S.B., S.O.BB.

The Sacrament of Baptism

The Sacrament of Penance or known as Penitents

The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist also known as Communion

The Sacrament of Confirmation

The Sacrament of Matrimony which is Marriage

The Sacrament of Holy Orders other wise known as Ordination

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

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They are to be classified as an outward sign given and instituted by Christ as examples of giving grace. Jesus Christ is the sacrament. For he gave his life to save mankind. He and His gift to the world was an outward symbol of his love, grace, mercy, humility and humanity to the generations of mankind. It is fitting and proper that we continue to pass on through the generations these examples which are the foundation of all Christian Faith. It is Christ that intercedes with the giving of the sacraments which allows His grace to continually effluence mankind.

In the days of Pentecost, Christ sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles so to help them to govern over the flock as He did. He was and still is today the good shepherd and as a good shepherd watches over and still tends to His chosen through the means of the Holy Sacraments.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 17, verses 18, 20 & 21 is quoted as “ As the Father has sent me, even so I send you”. Christ is the head of all Christian faith and churches. This is reaffirmed through the scriptures of the book of Colossians, chapter 1, verse 18 which states that, Jesus is the head of his body the church. So that makes the church itself a sacrament, instituted by Christ to give grace to all Peoples.

These sacraments are the holy examples given to the body of His church so to aid one to lead a good life in this world and help save mankind by giving us all the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus put forth and instituted the sacraments as part of the Liturgical of early Christendom and are now tradition to be passed on for all future generations. We celebrate in the mysteries of Christ’ life. Through His sacrifice on the cross, in His dyeing and through His resurrection. The word Sacrament is derived from the Greek word for mystery and was translated in the Latin to be sacramentum, now in the English translation to be sacrament.

The following forgoing are exemplified in reference to Ephesians, chapter 1, verse 19, also chapter 3, verse 9 as well as in Colossians, chapter 1, verse 27. With the grace of salvation given to mankind by Christ’s Crucifixion are now formally expressed through the giving of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Communion, Penitent’s the Anointing of the Sick and Dyeing along with the granting of Ordination or as some call it, Holy Orders and Marriage. Keep in mind that the word Sacrament still means and is called the Mysteries of faith in tens of thousands of Christian Churches around the globe even today.

Many Christian Churches recognize these seven sacraments and hold steadfast on their inherent value or rather importance to what the early Christian leaders felt was to unify all followers of Christ’ and the Apostolic teachings. Think of it this way, if we were to break down the sacraments into say three distinct categories their inherent value can be understood in better relation as to why they are so important to all Christians. One, the initiation. The Initiations are the Baptism, Confirmation and Communion. Two, restorative or rather restore. The Restorative attributes are the sacraments of Penance as well as the Anointing of the Sick. I say restorative because both offer one healing and a renewal in life and even after life. That leaves us with two more and they are classified to some as inherent vocation. Which means that they are life altering in that they both unite two into one meaning to unify or join together unto the Holy Trinity. The are the vocation of Ordination / Holy Orders and Matrimony / Marriage.

This last one mentioned, Marriage is no less sacred as that of any other one of the six sacraments. It is for this reason and backed by the Holy Word of God, that marriage is and always will be, between a man and a woman. No other union is acceptable to the Holy Trinity and sacred values passed down to mankind through Christ, Himself. He made it what it is. Mankind has no right to perverse this sacred sacrament. No matter what man sanctions as rule in the land. God rules of the Church and the sanctity of these sacraments. Especially the sacrament of marriage.

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The sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination are given but once. Once for they are sufficient as a seal upon one’s soul as affirmed in the following scriptures. 2nd Corinthians, chapter 1, verses 21 & 22, Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 30 and the book of Revelations offer us a firm relation to it as a permanent seal in chapter 7, verse 3. There by making each sacrament an individual link to an external showing of public and even privet ritual or rite such as in a rite of passage, which it is. The symbolization of water used in baptism becomes a physical sensation that is felt by the element itself. By purifying and or cleansing ones person of past iniquities. It offers a renewed spiritual enlightenment of being “born again” pure and without sin.

This is essential for all persons of any era. Meaning the Past, Present and even Future. Every act of any of the sacraments offers a special ecclesiastical understanding and acceptance on the individual going through the ritual. It therefore becomes, the key which unlocks the proverbial closed heart and mind of mankind and opens it to the deity known as the Heavenly Father. It is the very basis of a foundation which builds on faith, communication and trust between man and the Holy Trinity.

It is no longer that man is alone in this world, but rather that through these rituals, one can begin to grow and see the world for what it really is and with a newness that only the grace of God on that person can give and even experience. It becomes for that person a form of continued growth in spirit and enabling them to begin to finally transform and unlock and let free, the true heart and soul that is unique to a lasting relationship between man and God.

The word baptism from the Greek means to immerse, dip or plunge. If the individual is an infant or adult it is customary to anoint them with Holy Oil. The Holy Oil is called the oil of catechumens. And so to give you a little better understanding of this I refer to the reference of Wikipedia which states that, the “oil of catechumens is to help strengthen the person about to be baptized, and prepare them for the struggle (ascesis) of the Christian life”. And that it “is the ointment of those preparing for baptism. It wards off what is evil. It brings wisdom and strength.” It also is to be blessed by a Bishop during the Holy Week and given to each congregation by the minister or priest. It is primarily used during baptism, and any occasion which requires a sanctified blessing. Such as with the other sacraments.

Allow me to also note here for further clarification, on the tradition of the baptismal rite. The ritual is usually witnessed by the parents, godparents, or individual making the profession of faith. The importance of the parents being present is to offer them an opportunity to reaffirm not only themselves of their own baptism but rather to solidify that they promise to bring the child up in the Christian way of life and guiding them along the path of life aiding the child to grow spiritually and firmly grounded in the Christian doctrine of the Holy Word of God. Not mankind and its many denominations. Though there is a place for all Christian denominations and non-denominations as long as what they teach is the true Holy word of God and not conjecture of theology or philosophy.

The presence of the “God Parent is to affirm that if, something untimely were to happen to the parents, that there will be another member of the Christian family (ie; fellow brother or sister in Christ, be they blood or not) that is trusted and respected by the parents and the church to step in if necessary and continue to raise the child within the organization and instruction of the body of Christ.

The traditional ritual of the baptism consists of a duly appointed and ordained minister immersing the baby or individual in water or by pouring water on their head, while saying “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Then the baby or elder individual is anointed with the blessed chrism oil.

The sacrament of baptism is the basis of the whole Christian experience. The very foundation if you will. It is a requirement and completely necessary for the saving grace of God to take place in one’s life. I refer to the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 5, which conveys that the person is a new in Christianity and is but a child no matter what age one takes the sacrament and then becomes by doing so, a child of God. Belong to Him and His family, for eternity.

I have to make mention here a note as to how special the rite of baptism truly is. In order to come to this phase of commitment with your spiritual newness, you must first be sent to Christ and accept all that He is and then you have to be accepted by Him (Christ Jesus), to warrant the calling to be baptized. For no one can go to Jesus unless the Father sends them and no one can come unto the Father unless Christ send them. That alone shows how special any individual (infant or adult) is to the Holy Trinity.

Also, before someones says, well the infant didn’t have a choice to accept what baptism is or even means and that it is not right to force it upon them. Wrong ! God and Christ with the Holy Spirit touched the parents and Godparents as well as the Church leaders. They, meaning the Holy Trinity and those called upon by them, had them ( the parents and godparents) bring forth the child and  given the sacrament. Remember, No One, means NO ONE, comes unto them, God or Christ unless they themselves invite you (infant or not) and then they send their loving and graciously merciful, Holy Spirit upon all of them and cause them to act and carry through with the ritual and rite of baptism on behalf of the said infant or child.

Well, for now I will leave you with these thoughts and over time I will write about the other six sacraments in detail as the Holy Trinity touches my heart to do so. However, for now this is enough meat for you to digest (so to speak). Until next time, may the love of God be with you and the calling of Jesus Christ upon your life lead you straight to Heavens gate and may it be opened unto you upon your arrival. In Jesus’ Holy and Blessed Name. I pray for you. Amen

God bless you always, sincerely your servant in Christ Jesus,
Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., O.S.A., O.S.P., O.S.B., O.S.MM.
Founder of the Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry and the Evangelical Church of the Celtic Cross, Old Universal Church of the Celtic Cross and the Independent Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross
03/2013

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