Holy Mysteries (Sacraments)
Byzantine Catholics share in seven sacraments as do all Catholics, instituted by Christ to give grace. In the Byzantine Church, sacraments are
referred to as "Holy MYSTERIES" in order to emphasize mysterious work of the Holy Spirit. As explained by St. John Chrysostom: "It is called mystery,
because what we believe is not the same as what we see; one thing we see and another we believe."
Holy Mysteries of Initiation
Baptism - the first sacrament or Mystery. Baptism is our personal participation in the death and resurrection of Christ.
In the Byzantine tradition, Baptism is administered by total immersion into blessed water in order to emphasize the washing of rebirth that
Chrismation (Confirmation) - Baptism is immediately followed by the second sacrament, "Chrismation" or Confirmation.
In Holy Chrismation, we are anointed with the Holy Myron, with the gift of the Holy Spirit being bestowed upon each of us individually.
Chrismation is our personal participation in the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Eucharist - The Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the sacrament of Christ's true Body and Blood. Following the command
of the Lord to 'let the little children come to me' (Mt 19:14), the Church administers the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and Eucharist
to infants on the same day, so that they become full members of the Body of Christ, fully integrated into the Church, and full participants in the
gift of New Life in Christ.
Holy Mysteries of Reconciliation (Repentance)
In the Mystery of Reconciliation, we repent of our sins, and receive forgiveness and absolution, and the grace to persevere in this world to live
the New Life in Christ, in spite of our failures and shortcomings. It is a Byzantine tradition to confess our sins in the presence of a priest
while facing an icon of Christ.
Mystery of Anointing
The Sacrament of the Sick is more commonly referred to as the Mystery of Holy Anointing with Oil, where we are anointed with blessed oil for
our illnesses, both bodily and spiritually. The entire Church celebrates this Mystery on Holy and Great Wednesday in anticipation of the Holy
Pascha, the Feast of the Resurrection.
Mystery of Crowning (Marriage)
In the Sacrament of Marriage, or the Mystery of Holy Matrimony, a man and a woman are called together to live as one through mutual self-giving
and selfless love. In the Mystery of Holy Matrimony, the couple is crowned with the divine grace and strength to grow together in love and
holiness, and live the New Life of Christ more abundantly.
Mystery of the Holy Orders
The Church is a universal priesthood of believers. Yet among this universal priesthood, some are called to serve the Church in a particular
way in the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church. The Mystery of Holy Orders calls men to serve the Body of Christ as deacons,
priests and bishops through the laying on of hands, in which Christ Himself gives them the grace and power to perform this service in His name
for the sake of His Body.