Sacraments & Services
As the Rev. Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald explains, there are special experiences in our life as Orthodox Christians when the perception of God’s presence and actions are heightened and celebrated. We call these events of the Church Sacraments. Traditionally, the Sacraments have been known as Holy Mysteries in the Orthodox Church. This description emphasizes that in these special events of the Church, God discloses Himself through the prayers and actions of His people.
The Sacraments of the Orthodox Church are composed of prayers, hymns, scripture lessons, gestures and processions. Many parts of the services date back to the time of the Apostles.
In the Orthodox Church, we recognize seven major Sacraments. In addition to these major Sacraments, there are many other Blessings and Special Services which reflect the Church’s presence throughout the lives of her people, including the Funeral Service, Memorial Service, and Great Blessing of the Water.
Seven Major Orthodox Sacraments
- The Eucharist (Holy Communion)
- Chrismation (confirmation in the Orthodox Faith)
- Confession: the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Unction: The Sacrament of Healing