Help with College Theology Paper


I am not sure if this is the correct forum but since it concerns the Sacraments I figured I would try here.

I am current attending Saint Leo University (distance education) and I have to due a research paper for my REL-123 (Foundations of Christian Faith) class. I chose the topic of

“Survey how the seven sacraments developed, giving dates and reasons.”

I am trying to find some books and journals to start my research. Can anyone give me some titles or point me in the right direction?

Thanks and God Bless

Dave W.


There's a lot in the tracts section of It should have a bit to start on at least.


My kids use Fr. Laux's "Mass and the Sacraments" book for 10th grade theology. It has a lot of information about the origins of the sacraments. I don't know if you'll be able to find the book in the library, but if you have time it doesn't cost a lot used.


Doors to the Sacred: A Historical Introduction to Sacraments in the Catholic Church by Joseph Martos (see here) has lots of references to books and articles.


I don't know what's wrong with the website, but if/when it gets fixed, there are apparently a wealth of resources on

It appears that they are restructuring their website. Hopefully it will return soon.


[quote="Elizabeth502, post:5, topic:287706"]
It appears that they are restructuring their website. Hopefully it will return soon.


Actually it looks like someone forgot to pay for the domain name.


I would look at the Catholic Encyclopedia first, often there are references there.

The rites of Christian initiation: their evolution and interpretation

by Maxwell E. Johnson, PhD [minister of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America] (1999, revised in 2007), Liturgical Press, 2007 - 487 pages

Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B., called it “the best overall treatment of Christian initiation available”.


Aidan Kavanagh, Confirmation: Origins and Reform (New York: Pueblo, 1988).

Gerard Austin, Anointing with the Spirit: The Rite of Confirmation (New York: Pueblo, 1985).

Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition (earliest Verona edition 215 A.D.) describes this original initiation practice in this order:


  1. bishop makes oil of thanksgiving and oil of exorcism
  2. anointing with oil of exorcism
  3. nude baptism (by triple immersion)
  4. anointing with oil of thanksgiving (then dry and get dressed)


  1. then in the church, bishop says dismissal rite over the neophytes: “Lord God, you have made them worthy to receive remission of sins through the laver of regeneration of the Holy Spirit, etc.”
  2. laying on of hands together with oil
  3. sealing with oil on the forehead
  4. the kiss of peace prayer
  5. deacons bring oblation (bread and wine, water, milk, and honey)
  6. the oblation is blessed
  7. the milk and honey are mixed together
  8. the bread is distributed
  9. each tastes of the water, milk, and wine, three times.


If this is a college paper, do your own research like you would for any other paper. This is part of the research and writing for the paper.

Make sure that you get good, scholarly books. Some of the ones suggested above are not academic in nature, but rather just generally informational (such as the tracts here on Catholic Answers).


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