Sacraments of the Church

The Sacraments of the Church is a 40-page A5 booklet written in 2011 by the Vicar of St Nicholas' Fr Robert Chavner.  Each chapter is devoted solely to one of the seven sacraments:  namely Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Confession, Ordination, Marriage, and Holy Unction.  The Introduction to the booklet written by Fr Robert Chavner reads:

“In the Book of Common Prayer, the Catechism, a means of instruction in the Christian Faith in question and answer form, defines a sacrament as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace” – that is to say, in each sacrament there is something that we can see which helps us to understand things that we cannot see but which are very real:  water to symbolise washing and new life, bread and wine as symbols of the life of Christ Himself – His body and blood – and the laying-on of hands to be a tangible sign of the coming, or strengthening, of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation and Ordination.  Marriage, Confession, and Unction have their symbols too.

There are many who regard the whole universe as sacramental:

            ‘hew a tree and He is there;
            lift a stone and He is there also'.

In reality the whole universe is the garment of the invisible God, but because we are so attuned to the things of the world – material things that we can handle, see, touch and taste – we become less able to assimilate the things of the spiritual world, and so we need these outward signs to assist us on our Christian journey.

I hope that this book will help in an understanding of the nature of the sacraments, and that in some cases it may even assist to kindle or renew faith.”

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