Definition of a Sacrament
The word sacrament comes from the Latin sacrare which means “to dedicate.” Thus a sacrament is a rite which not only signifies some specific grace, but which produces that grace in the souls of the person to whom it is administered. What is grace? It is that which makes us fulfill our mission as children of God. It is not a state of being. It is a power that comes from God and regenerates and nourishes. It is the energy that feeds the growth of the believing spirit of people. The Armenian word for sacrament is khorhoort or “mystery.” This implies that the fruits of the sacraments (such as being born to a spiritual life in baptism) are received mysteriously. Each sacrament has an inward and outward expression. The outward, for example, in baptism, is the water. This symbolizes the rebirth and cleansing of the soul of the child, which is inward. Although everything which is in and of the Church is sacramental, there are seven formal sacraments of the Armenian Church which correspond to the different states and situations of a person’s life.
Annointing of the Sick
This sacrament heals the soul and body of the sick.
Christian Initiation: Adult Baptism and Confirmation COMING SOON
Christian Initiation: Baptism and Confirmation of Infants
We all need nourishment to live. The soul needs spiritual food to keep alive and to grow in the Kingdom of God. Holy Communion is the most important sacrament and the center of the Church’s life; this union with the Lord is indeed the ultimate purpose of Christian life as a whole. Communion (haghortootiun in Armenian) refers to the mystical union of people with God and each other as they gather, pray, read the Bible, remember Christ and share in his redemption of the world through the bread and wine that become truly his body and blood. The faithful are encouraged to take Communion as often as they can.
Holy Orders (Ordination)
People dedicate their lives directly to God and to serve in his Church.
The Rite of Crowning In Marriage
In confessing sins and seeking forgiveness, the faithful are made whole again as citizens of God’s kingdom.