Chrismation & Confirmation

In another “envelope” somewhere Fr. Ambrose started explaining the Orthodox view that Jesus’ baptism and the dove appearance is their scriptural reference for why they offer Eucharist and chrismate at the same time.

I was very interested in how they then view Pentecost as a “happening” and wondered (before someone else tells us that the discussion belongs in Non-Catholic folder) to start a thread here which explains if Jesus’ baptism covers what we call Confirmation and they call chrismation I gather, what then does Pentecost signify to them?

Also I’d like to know if the Orthodox have the same number of sacraments that the Latin Rite does and are they called by the same name?

[quote=HagiaSophia]In another “envelope” somewhere Fr. Ambrose started explaining the Orthodox view that Jesus’ baptism and the dove appearance is their scriptural reference for why they offer Eucharist and chrismate at the same time.
[/quote]

Quick response… What on earth is “the dove appearance”?

Bapstim and Chrismation form one rite of illumination and take place in the same service within minutes of one another. For an explanation of the Orthodox baptismal and chrismation rite, refer to the Catechectical Lectures of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem. What he was doing in the 4th century is trhe same as modern day Orthodox Baptism-Chrismation.

Catechetical Lectures
ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/St.Pachomius/Greek/Catech/

Also I’d like to know if the Orthodox have the same number of sacraments that the Latin Rite does and are they called by the same name?

The Orthodox have never defined the number of Sacraments (or Mysteries as we call them.) In catechisms though you will find that seven is mentioned but it is not exhaustive.

The tonsuring of a monk or nun is one of the Sacraments.

Also the anointing of a Sovereign.

The Consecration of the Waters at Theophany.

The Consecration of a Church (also, ver interesting, considered as such by the Celtic Churches - we still have their very complicated rite for it.)

The Funeral Service, etc.

These are probably actions which the West would call sacramentals, but the East has no such distinction and they are simply Sacraments for us.

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Quick response… What on earth is “the dove appearance”?
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LOL - let me see if I understood what you were trying to explain: As I got it, the Orthodox perform Baptism and chrismate at the same time because they base it on the scripture story of Christ being baptized and having a dove make an appearance.

The RC’s separate the two because to them the dove is simply part of the manifestation of the Baptism but Pentecost is their scriptural refrence for Confirmation.

So I was trying to understand what then do Orthodox see Pentecost as?

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Bapstim and Chrismation form one rite of illumination
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What is a rite of illumination? I am not familiar with that term.

[quote=Fr Ambrose]The Orthodox have never defined the number of Sacraments (or Mysteries as we call them.) In catechisms though you will find that seven is mentioned but it is not exhaustive.

Also the anointing of a Sovereign.
[/quote]

I have always ben curious as to why the RCC did not have this as a sacrament since there are mystical and religious overtones to it even unto this day in nations where royalty still exists.

[quote=Fr Ambrose]The Consecration of a Church (also, very interesting, considered as such by the Celtic Churches - we still have their very complicated rite for it.)
[/quote]

We still have a very long rite for it and a very lovely one - I love the litany of the saints being used. So beautiful. But come to think of it, I do not know where it originated.

[quote=HagiaSophia]So I was trying to understand what then do Orthodox see Pentecost as?
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Lex orandi, lex credendi.

The very best way to learn most things in Orthodoxy is to look at the text of the divine services.

Pentecost has many themes in the East… the two primary ones are:

  1. the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles

  2. it is a Trinitarian feast since it is the completion of the Christian revelation that God exists as Trinity.

The Trinitarian aspect is shown by its being a three day festival…

  1. Sunday
    known as both Pentecost and Trinity Sunday

(the two occur together and are not two separate Sundays as in the West)

  1. Monday - the Day of the Holy Spirit

  2. Tuesday - Third Day of Trinity

Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit
oca.org/pages/orth_chri/Orthodox-Faith/Worship/Pentecost.html

[quote=HagiaSophia]The RC’s separate the two because to them the dove is simply part of the manifestation of the Baptism but Pentecost is their scriptural refrence for Confirmation.
[/quote]

I would have to quibble with you on this point, Sophia. I do not think that one can really say that we separate the two sacraments because of any particular Bible passages. I think that it would be much nearer the mark to say that this is just what we have always done (in the same way that the Easterns have always kept them together). I suspect that any theological justification for either practice is just a lot of handwaving to explain that which just is.

[quote=GrzeszDeL]…I do not think that one can really say that we separate the two sacraments because of any particular Bible passages. I think that it would be much nearer the mark to say that this is just what we have always done (in the same way that the Easterns have always kept them together)…
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Actually, the phrase “…what we have always done…” is a bit inaccurate. As originally instituted, the Sacrament of Confirmation (the Holy Mystery of Chrismation in the East) was conferred in a joint ceremony along with Baptism in both the East and the West. The West “separated” these Sacraments in order to accommodate the Bishops, given the rise in infant baptisms and the geographic growth of the Church. Here’s what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about it…

Two traditions: East and West

1290 In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a “double sacrament,” according to the expression of St. Cyprian. Among other reasons, the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. The East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But he can do so only with the “myron” consecrated by a bishop.101

1291 A custom of the Roman Church facilitated the development of the Western practice: a double anointing with sacred chrism after Baptism. The first anointing of the neophyte on coming out of the baptismal bath was performed by the priest; it was completed by a second anointing on the forehead of the newly baptized by the bishop.102 The first anointing with sacred chrism, by the priest, has remained attached to the baptismal rite; it signifies the participation of the one baptized in the prophetic, priestly, and kingly offices of Christ. If Baptism is conferred on an adult, there is only one post-baptismal anointing, that of Confirmation. 1292 The practice of the Eastern Churches gives greater emphasis to the unity of Christian initiation. That of the Latin Church more clearly expresses the communion of the new Christian with the bishop as guarantor and servant of the unity, catholicity and apostolicity of his Church, and hence the connection with the apostolic origins of Christ’s Church.

[quote=a pilgrim]Actually, the phrase “…what we have always done…” is a bit inaccurate.
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Your point is well taken, A Pilgrim. I suppose what I really meant was “this is of longstanding tradition.” Needless to say, it is nearly impossible to say what either side has always done because the records do not go back far enough. That said, I suspect that even the Catechism accounts of the reasons for the difference between the east and the west on this point is more of a “just-so” story than a strictly historical account. Not that I disagree, per se, with the philosophical justification which the Catechism applies to the matter, but I suspect that these sorts of considerations were not really foremost in the minds of the actual priests and bishops responsible for the actual state of things.

[quote=GrzeszDeL]…Needless to say, it is nearly impossible to say what either side has always done because the records do not go back far enough…
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GrzeszDeL,

Please forgive me if I sound like I’m trying to beat this topic into the ground, but I believe that the records do, in fact, go back far enough… all the way back to St. Paul himself!

Acts 19:1-7 tells of St. Paul’s astonishment upon coming across a group of Christians who had been baptized but had not yet received the Holy Spirit through the “laying of hands.” He immediately went about the task of rectifying the situation by laying hands (confirming) them, thus ensuring that their initiation into Christianity was complete.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church acknowledges that Paul’s “laying of hands” is “…rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation.” Here’s the reference…

1288 "From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism. For this reason in the Letter to the Hebrews the doctrine concerning Baptism and the laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian instruction. The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church."99

It seems pretty clear that the original intent was for those being initiated into the Christian faith to receive both Baptism and Confirmation together, otherwise Paul would probably have not been upset at finding these Christians who had received the one without the other.

Again, if I may reference the CCC, the order of the reception of the Sacraments is referenced. Here’s what the CCC says about the Eucharist, the third of the Sacraments of Initiation…

1322 The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.

Note that reference is made to the holy Eucharist completing the Christian initiation, after Baptism and Confirmation.

As an Eastern Catholic whose Eastern Catholic children grew up pretty much totally within Roman Catholic parishes, I’ve become a little bit sensitive to the issues that revolve around the “correct age” for an individual to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. All three of my children were initiated into the Church through the Byzantine Catholic Church and thus were Chrismated (Confirmed) at the time of their Baptism. Believe me, each of them had a tough time convincing their Roman Catholic Religious Ed teachers that they had already received the Sacrament of Confirmation and could not receive it again with the rest of their RE classes. The standard reply from the teachers was “You couldn’t have… you’re not old enough!” :rolleyes:

…yet another example of the pressing need for education and understanding amongst all of the Churches that comprise our Holy Catholic Church…

a pilgrim

Dear Pilgrim,

I would hardly worry about belaboring the topic; after all, that is what this thread is here to do :). Meanwhile, you will get no argument from me about the advantages of better education about the thorough-going variegation of rites and disciplines withing the whole Church. That said, I am still hesitant to say how much we can know about the early Church vis-a-vis the sacraments of initiation.

I will happily grant that the passage which you cite would rather give the impression that we used to confirm at the same time that we baptized. On the other hand, Acts 8 records the story of Philip baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch. The two of them just happen on water and spontaneously decide that the eunuch should be baptized. Unless we begin with the odd assumption that Philip just happened to be carrying chrism around with him, this would imply that Philip has scant reservation about baptizing without confirming at the same time. In other words, the early evidence we have is not all of a univocal nature, and we have even less evidence about norms and practices in the immediate post-biblical era. It seems to me, then, that we should be reluctant to claim to know too much about what the norm was (if any such thing existed) in the earliest days of the Church.

1291 A custom of the Roman Church facilitated the development of the Western practice: a double anointing with sacred chrism after Baptism. The first anointing of the neophyte on coming out of the baptismal bath was performed by the priest; it was completed by a second anointing on the forehead of the newly baptized by the bishop. The first anointing with sacred chrism, by the priest, has remained attached to the baptismal rite; it signifies the participation of the one baptized in the prophetic, priestly, and kingly offices of Christ. If Baptism is conferred on an adult, there is only one post-baptismal anointing, that of Confirmation.

For infants, the Sacrament of Baptism in the Roman Liturgy, includes chrismation. For adults that receive all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil, the anointing with sacred chrism is not done during the Baptismal rite, but is done instead in the Confirmation Rite.

**Catechism of the Catholic Church

The mystagogy of the celebration [of Baptism]

1234 ** The meaning and grace of the sacrament of Baptism are clearly seen in the rites of its celebration. By following the gestures and words of this celebration with attentive participation, the faithful are initiated into the riches this sacrament signifies and actually brings about in each newly baptized person. …

1241 The anointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one “anointed” by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king.

1242 In the liturgy of the Eastern Churches, the post-baptismal anointing is the sacrament of Chrismation (Confirmation). In the Roman liturgy the post- baptismal anointing announces a second anointing with sacred chrism to be conferred later by the bishop Confirmation, which will as it were “confirm” and complete the baptismal anointing.
I have a copy of the Roman Ritual that gives the instruction for the priestly annointing of the infant with Sacred Chrism during the Sacrament of Baptism. It says this:Then dipping his hands in the Holy Chrism, and anointing the child on the crown of the head in the form of a Cross, he says:

Deus omnipotens, Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui te regeneravit ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, quique dedit tibi remissionem, omnium peccatorum (here he annoints), ipse te liniat chrismate salutis in eodem Christo Jesu Domino nostro, in vitam æternam. Can someone translate the Latin for me?

How different is this annointing prayer from what the Orthodox pray when they give chrismation to infants?

[quote=Matt16_18]Deus omnipotens, Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui te regeneravit ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, quique dedit tibi remissionem, omnium peccatorum (here he annoints), ipse te liniat chrismate salutis in eodem Christo Jesu Domino nostro, in vitam æternam.
[/quote]

May God almighty, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has regenerated you by water and the Holy Spirit, and Who has given to you remission of all sins, now also annoint you with the chrism of salvation into life eternal in the same Jesus Christ Our Lord.

[quote=Matt16_18]I have a copy of the Roman Ritual that gives the instruction for the priestly annointing of the infant with Sacred Chrism during the Sacrament of Baptism. It says this:
Then dipping his hands in the Holy Chrism, and anointing the child on the crown of the head in the form of a Cross, he says:

Deus omnipotens, Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui te regeneravit ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, quique dedit tibi remissionem, omnium peccatorum (here he annoints), ipse te liniat chrismate salutis in eodem Christo Jesu Domino nostro, in vitam æternam.
Can someone translate the Latin for me?
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May Almighty God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He who has regenerated you by water and the Holy Spirit, and given you remission of all sins, anoint you with the chrism of salvation, in the same Christ Jesus our Lord, unto life everlasting.

I call upon you to witness in these sacramental words the true teaching of the Roman Catholic Church concerning the nature of Original Sin. - that at Baptism an infant is chrismated for the “remission of all sins.” Since an infant has NO sins of his own, it is only the sin of Adam which is being remitted.

The truest and most trustworthy teaching of any Church is that which is given in its sacred sacramental ceremonies. As Article 1234 (given by you above) expresses it: “By following the gestures and words of this celebration with attentive participation, the faithful are initiated into the riches this sacrament signifies and actually brings about in each newly baptized person. …”

It is Original SIN which is remitted at Baptism.

But Fr. Ambrose, Chrysostom’s liturgy prays practically the same prayer, no?

You have been pleased to give new birth by water and the Spirit, for the forgiveness of his (her) sins, whether committed willingly or unwillingly.

If we can be convicted by our words of believing that the baby has committed Adam’s sin, then does it not follow that the Eastern Orthodox can be convicted of the same thing?

[quote=GrzeszDeL]But Fr. Ambrose, Chrysostom’s liturgy prays practically the same prayer, no?

You have been pleased to give new birth by water and the Spirit, for the forgiveness of his (her) sins, whether committed willingly or unwillingly.

If we can be convicted by our words of believing that the baby has committed Adam’s sin, then does it not follow that the Eastern Orthodox can be convicted of the same thing?
[/quote]

Major difference… Grz !

The Orthodox Service of Baptism which you quote is formulated for adults and they do indeed have personal sins which are forgiven at Baptism. The fact that your excerpt is referring, NOT to Original Sin, but to personal sins, is obvious from the phrase "the forgiveness of his sins, whether commited voluntarily or involuntarily."

The Catholic Service of Baptism which has been quoted is specifically formulated for the Baptism of Infants who have NO personal sins of any sort. It is ORIGINAL SIN which is being remitted to them in the Catholic Baptismal Service for Infants.

[quote=Fr Ambrose]The Orthodox Service of Baptism which you quote is formulated for adults and they do indeed have personal sins which are forgiven at Baptism. The fact that your excerpt is referring, NOT to Original Sin, but to personal sins, is obvious from the phrase "the forgiveness of his sins, whether commited voluntarily or involuntarily."

The Catholic Service of Baptism which has been quoted is specifically formulated for the Baptism of Infants who have NO personal sins of any sort. It is ORIGINAL SIN which is being remitted to them in the Catholic Baptismal Service for Infants.
[/quote]

So do you not say that prayer when you baptize babies?

[quote=GrzeszDeL]So do you not say that prayer when you baptize babies?
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No. Such references are ommitted, but not the entire prayer.

Our Baptismal Service is from the 3rh century, and possibily earlier, and was formulated for adult Baptism. We have no separate baptismal service for infants.

Another example of when the priest must make an adjustment for infants and children is in the formula used by the priest when giving Holy Communion:

“The holy and precious Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ is given to the servant of God N. for the forgiveness of sins and for life everlasting.”

When communing infants and children who are not yet judged as old enough for Confession, the priest ommits the phrase "for the forgiveness of sins" and merely says “for life everlasting.”

Interesting; you learn something new every day. In any case, the western words really do not prove what you think that they prove, but I am still glad to learn about the eastern custom.

[quote=Fr Ambrose] Major difference… Grz !

The Orthodox Service of Baptism which you quote is formulated for adults and they do indeed have personal sins which are forgiven at Baptism. The fact that your excerpt is referring, NOT to Original Sin, but to personal sins, is obvious from the phrase "the forgiveness of his sins, whether commited voluntarily or involuntarily."
[font=Arial]

I also see that all involuntary sin is forgiven in the Orthodox prayer. Please explain how one commits involuntary sin that needs to be forgiven. If you can explain that, perhaps you can understand why Catholics say that orginal sin needs to be forgiven.

The Catholic Service of Baptism which has been quoted is specifically formulated for the Baptism of Infants who have NO personal sins of any sort. It is ORIGINAL SIN which is being remitted to them in the Catholic Baptismal Service for Infants.[/font]

That is correct. The infant has no personal sin, it is an effect of original sin that is being remitted - the loss of sanctifying grace that resulted from the original sin. Adam’s sin brought about the loss of sanctifying grace to his progeny, and because of that sin, the infant is not born in a state of sanctifying grace, and the infant does not, and cannot, possess indwelling of the Holy Spirit until the infant becomes sanctified throught the death and ressurection of Christ. The effects of Adam’s sin must be remitted so that the infant can become sanctified and receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Myhrr continues to assert that Orthodox believe that infants are born with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and that infants are born in a state of grace. Myhrr has been unable to explain the contradiction between this Orthodox belief and the Orthodox belief that infants receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by receiving baptism and chrismation.

Can you clear up this obvious contradiction? Do the Orthodox really believe that an infant has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit before the infant receives baptism and chrismation?

If the infant does not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at birth, please explain why the Orthodox believe that this is so.
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**Catechism of the Catholic Church

Pentecost

731** On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.

**732 ** On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed. Since that day, the Kingdom announced by Christ has been open to those who believe in him: in the humility of the flesh and in faith, they already share in the communion of the Holy Trinity. By his coming, which never ceases, the Holy Spirit causes the world to enter into the “last days,” the time of the Church, the Kingdom already inherited though not yet consummated.

[quote=Matt16_18]]Myhrr continues to assert that Orthodox believe that infants are born with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and that infants are born in a state of grace. Myhrr has been unable to explain the contradiction between this Orthodox belief and the Orthodox belief that infants receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by receiving baptism and chrismation.

Can you clear up this obvious contradiction? Do the Orthodox really believe that an infant has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit before the infant receives baptism and chrismation?

If the infant does not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at birth, please explain why the Orthodox believe that this is so.
[/quote]

Matt! Do I have to chase you all around the board to make sure you’re not misrepresenting my arguments? I’m also annoyed that you misrepresent my arguments to Father Ambrose who might not have followed all our discussion and then ask him to confirm the truth or otherwise or your own definition!

** #63**

[Matt: You say that the Orthodox believe that Adam and Eve had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit before the Fall.]

Myhrr: Where have I said this?*

Matt: You implied it.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=11290&page=1&pp=100

And you still don’t understand what I mean by uncreated grace, I did not say that and I did not imply it.

But, I think what you mean by the Holy Spirit is that it is itself uncreated grace, as I’ve said before, you’ve reducing the Holy Spirit to fit your understanding of sanctifying grace, the Holy Ghost is not an uncreated energy of God, the Holy Ghost is God the Holy Spirit.

Where does this idea that the Holy Ghost is the “love between the Son and Father” come from? I’ve heard it in filioque arguments, that this reduces the Holy Spirit to be a creation of the Son and the Father.

Perhaps these two things are related.

And a p.s. here to those who haven’t followed the Original Sin discussion, Pope Paul VI introduced terms, but not necessarily equivalent meanings, from the Orthodox. This adds to the confusions in these discussions as shown here from those who haven’t read the small print which confirms that the dogma of Original Sin is based on Augustine and is still a dogma as at Trent and from those who like Matt who have read the small print but think it’s possible to make the two different views say the same; Orthodox Christology has nothing to do with the RCC doctrine of Original Sin.

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