Orthodox Sacraments?

For Orthodox Christians,

Are certain sacraments restricted to bishops? I.e., in the Latin Rite, only a bishop may Ordain or Confirm under normal circumstances. Can all members of the Orthodox clergy faithfully administer all the sacraments, or are some restricted?


I understand that only certain persons can perform certain acts. A bishop can ordain. A priest can baptise and chrismate.

Deacons may: orthodoxwiki.org/Deacon

The deacon ministers to the priest and bishop in the divine services. This includes:
Assisting in the celebration of the mysteries of the Church
Leading the people in the collective prayers (with the blessing of the presiding priest or bishop)
Reading from the Scriptures during the divine services (with the blessing of the presiding priest or bishop)
Keeping the decorum of the public worship, including calling people to attention at appropriate times
Any tasks of the subdeacon or reader
Other tasks related to Church life, with the blessing and direction of his priest or bishop.
In some jurisdictions, a deacon may be blessed by his bishop and parish priest to distribute the Eucharist to the faithful, either from a second chalice at a regular liturgy where a priest is serving or in connection with a typika service that is celebrated when the priest is absent.
What a deacon does may depend on jurisdiction - some consider the diaconate as a short interval before the priesthood - but, where permanency or longevity in the diaconate is prized, deacons will often head educational programs and youth groups, perform hospital visitation, missionary work, and conduct social welfare projects.

In Orthodoxy, the only sacrament that is reserved exclusively to bishops is ordination. Priests regularly administer both baptism and chrismation (confirmation). Another difference in Orthodoxy is that the priest, and not the couple, is the minister of the sacrament of matrimony.

An Orthodox priest can do anything except Holy Orders, as bishops can only do that.

Same for Byzantine Catholic priests.

Couples are always the ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage, whether it is the Latin rite or the Byzantine rite. However, it is Byzantine tradition that only a priest witnesses this marriage.

That is not the case. It is the Byzantine tradition-both Orthodox and Catholic-that the priest is the minister of the Sacrament of Marriage.

It is the teaching of the Church that the couple administers the sacrament on each other.

For the Latin rite-not for the Byzantine Rite, which is why, even when the marriage takes place in a Latin rite parish, Byzantine Catholics are not permitted to have their marriages presided over by a deacon.

Teaching doesn’t change just because it’s the Byzantine rite.

You are wrong. From the CCC (1623): “According to Latin tradition, the spouses as ministers of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the tradition of the Eastern Churches, the priests (bishops or presbyters) are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses, but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary.”

Notice what I bolded in your quote. The priests are witnesses to the sacrament, not the ones who administer it.

I am a Byzantine Catholic. I’ll go with what I’ve been taught, which is that the priest, whose blessing is necessary for the validity of the sacrament, is the minister of the sacrament of marriage. You are simply wrong.

The USCCB affirms that the priest is the minister of marriage in the Eastern tradition. In “When a Catholic Marries an Orthodox Christian” it is written, “Roman Catholics believe the two people getting married are the ministers of the sacrament, while Orthodox and Eastern Catholics believe the minister is the priest.”


I apologize. Mea culpa.

No need to apologize.

So that means that the teaching of the Church is that the priest is the minister of the sacrament of marriage.

A priest can chrismate, but the chrism can only be prepared by a bishop, usually the patriarch.

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