The Catechism

Other Sacramental Rites

Q. What other sacramental rites evolved in the Church
under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

A. Other sacramental rites which evolved in the Church
include confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony,
reconciliation of a penitent, and unction.
Q. How do they differ from the two sacraments of the Gospel?
A. Although they are means of grace, they are not
necessary for all persons in the same way that Baptism
and the Eucharist are.
Q. What is Confirmation?
A. Confirmation is the rite in which we express a mature
commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the
Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands
by a bishop.
Q. What is required of those to be confirmed?
A. It is required of those to be confirmed that they have
been baptized, are sufficiently instructed in the Christian
Faith, are penitent for their sins, and are ready to affirm
their confession of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Q. What is Ordination?
A. Ordination is the rite in which God gives authority and
the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops,
priests, and deacons, through prayer and the laying on
of hands by bishops.
Q. What is Holy Matrimony?
A. Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which the
woman and man enter into a life-long union, make their
vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace
and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.
Q. What is Reconciliation of a Penitent?
A. Reconciliation of a Penitent, or Penance, is the rite in
which those who repent of their sins may confess them
to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the
assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution.
Q. What is Unction of the Sick?
A. Unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the
laying on of hands, by which God's grace is given for the
healing of spirit, mind, and body.
Q. Is God's activity limited to these rites?
A. God does not limit himself to these rites; they are
patterns of countless ways by which God uses material
things to reach out to us.
Q. How are the sacraments related to our Christian hope?
A. Sacraments sustain our present hope and anticipate its
future fulfillment.
BCP p.860-861    Catechism