Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Christians are convinced that, by divine institution, the church has received baptism and the eucharist as outward signs of inward grace consisting of words and actions by which God encounters those called to faith. These symbols are recognized as sacraments. It is also believed that the church has authority to institute other rites and ordinances which are valued as sacred signs of God's redeeming love in Christ. The mysterious and incomprehensible character of sacraments is highlighted in Orthodox theology that respects the apophatic character of what can be grasped by human understanding. The churches themselves have not been sufficiently solicitous of catechesis and preaching the centrality of these rituals. Baptism, confirmation, and church weddings can easily be reduced in the minds of nominal Christians to routine ceremonies devoid of profound significance. The fact that so many Christian marriages end in separation and divorce raises questions about the efficacy of grace.

Keywords: Baptism, eucharist, Christ, Orthodox theology, catechesis, confirmation, church wedding, divorce

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.