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Chapter 15

All bodies of Christ in some way recognize some or all of the following acts as sacred. As I wish not to get into the differences here, it is best for the reader to seek the council of a pastor/priest to determine how his or her church practices the following sacraments.

ABSOLUTION – Absolution is the forgiveness of one’s sins by a priest. Absolution is symbolized by a bunch of hyssop, based on Psalm 51:7 which reads, “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean.”

BAPTISM – Baptism is an act all believers are to participate in. In the early church, baptism, according to the Didache, was to be performed in cold, running (living) water. As the church progressed and large designated buildings replaced house churches, the practice of baptism evolved

as well. Baptism was moved into the church building for both convenience and safety. It was performed in a baptismal font. The font was usually round and very large. Sometimes the fonts were in the floor of the church, covered in beautiful mosaic patterns.

Today, fonts take on many shapes and sizes. In liturgical churches, fonts are octagonal in shape and may have large covers in the shape of a pyramid topped with a cross or dove. In evangelical
churches, the font has been replaced with some form of container either in the floor or elevated behind the platform for better viewing. The shapes and sizes vary.

BIBLE (The Word) – 1. The Word is portrayed as an open book. On pages of the open book is sometimes written V.D.M.A. or Verbum Dei Manet Aeternum, Latin for “The Word of God endures forever”. 2. Two scrolls, one representing the Old Testament and the other the New Testament, represent The Word. 3. The Word is symbolized by a candle.

CONFESSION – Confession is the act of publicly or privately confessing one’s sins. It is portrayed by a confessional stole.

CONFIRMATION – In liturgical churches, those who have been baptized are then confirmed. In this process, the person receives the Holy Spirit. The symbol of confirmation is usually the dove, a popular symbol of the Holy Spirit. Another symbol may be that of a clergyman who has placed his right hand upon the head of the child kneeling before him.

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© 2016 By Doug Gray. All Rights Reserved.