Seven Sacraments


I’d just like to ask a question about the sacraments. Were all seven sacraments around at the beginning of the church, or were they established centuries later?


Yes, the sacraments were around at the beginning of the Church, although they may not have been neatly “packaged” as the “Seven Sacraments” at the time. Each sacrament, according to some, finds its counterpart in Scripture:

Baptism—the Baptism of Our Lord

Chrismation—the Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

Confession—the various accounts of individuals repenting and receiving forgiveness

The Eucharist—the Mystical Supper and accounts of the “breaking of the bread” in Acts, etc

Holy Unction—various healings performed by Christ Himself

Ordination—the call of the disciples

Marriage—the Wedding Feast at Cana

While Scripture does not categorize these as “sacraments,” it is clear that the needs that each of the sacraments addresses has its counterpart in the ministry and mission of Our Lord.

Of course, the Orthodox picked up the number seven from the West at a later date, and there are many other needs addressed by Our Lord which also serve to bring us into the presence and grace and holiness of God.