Sacraments

sacrament

sacrament [Lat.,=something holy], an outward sign of something sacred. In Christianity, a sacrament is commonly defined as having been instituted by Jesus and consisting of a visible sign of invisible grace. Christianity is divided as to the number and operation of sacraments. The traditional view held by Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and certain Anglicans counts the sacraments as seven—Eucharist, baptism, confirmation, penance, anointing of the sick, matrimony (see marriage), and holy orders (see orders, holy). These are held to produce grace in the soul of the recipient by the very performance of the sacramental act (ex opere operato); the recipient need only have the right intention. Most Protestant denominations recognize two sacraments—baptism and communion, or the Lord's Supper. Protestants hold generally that it is the faith of the participant, itself a gift of God, rather than the power of the sacramental act that produces grace. A conventional division of the seven sacraments sets apart the "sacraments of the dead," i.e., baptism and penance, because they are for souls in a state of sin; the rest, "sacraments of the living," are conferred on souls in a state of grace.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Christ, the Sacrament of the Encounter with God
E. Schillebeeckx.
Sheed Andrews and McMeel, 1963
On the Sacraments of the Christian Faith: (De Sacramentis)
Roy J. Deferrari; Hugh Saint Victor.
Mediaeval Academy of America, 1951
The Bible and the Liturgy
Jean Danielou.
University of Notre Dame Press, 1956
The Idea of Catholicism: An Introduction to the Thought and Worship of the Church
Walter J. Burghardt; William F. Lynch.
Greenwich-Meridian, 1960
Librarian’s tip: "The Sacraments: The Christian's Journey through Life" begins on p. 187
Liturgical Piety
Louis Bouyer.
University of Notre Dame Press, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Twelve "Initiation into the Mystery: Baptism, Confirmation, Penance in the Mass"
The Protestant Faith
George W. Forell.
Prentice-Hall, 1960
Librarian’s tip: "The Significance of the Word and the Sacraments for the Protestant Faith" begins on p. 222
Eucharistic Sharing: Revising the Question
Vanderwilt, Jeffrey.
Theological Studies, Vol. 63, No. 4, December 2002
His Presence in the World: A Study in Eucharistic Worship and Theology
Nicholas Lash.
Sheed & Ward, 1968
Papal Pronouncements on Marriage and the Family from Leo XIII to Pius XII (1878-1954)
Alvin Werth; Clement S. Mihunovich.
Bruce Publishing, 1955
Treatises on Penance: On Penitence and on Purity
William P. Le Saint; Tertullian.
Newman Press, 1959
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