Why do you suppose the RCC has 7 Sacraments?

The RCC has 7 Sacraments





Holy Orders [the Catholic Priesthood

Extreme Unction [also called the Last Rites]; whu don;t all Christian churches?



I fail to see what the question is driving at. The number of sacraments (and whether the concept exists at all) varies from Church to Church and from Christian group to group. I would also suggest if you use the initials of RCC you are going to run into trouble even when talking of the sacraments within Catholicism, because the understanding of them is not identical in every Church within the Catholic Communion.

Don’t forget Reconciliation (Confession) :wink:

Anyhow, that’s how many were instituted by Jesus Christ. Those are all His Sacraments.

The main issue between different churches about the number of sacraments seems to be the definition of the word. Does a sacrament have to have been instituted directly by Christ for instance? Does this include setting out the procedure for the sacrament, or just establishing the concept of that sacrament? Anglicans believe (per the 39 Articles) that only Baptism and the Eucharist are sacraments for instance because it isn only possible to determine the essential components of these sacraments from the words or actions of Christ. The argument ultimately I suppose comes down to the extent to which a church accepts the value of tradition.

Yes that is one perspective I am familiar with, also as I pointed out even how the sacraments are delivered and when they are valid is not an uniform matter even within Catholicism.

Well the mode of delivery of a sacrament has essential components which should not differ and then extra parts that can differ. For instance, using flowing water is an essential component of baptism. But the giving of a lighted candle is just a custom that is not essential to the sacrament.

Because they were instituted by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Every church that was founded by an apostle (e.g., Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Constantinople) have always had the same seven sacraments.

That is, why not say, 8 or 6? Seven indicates completeness and perfection.

Proverbs states: “she [the Church] has hewn
out her SEVEN pillars” Prov. 9:1

Anglicans in general need not look to the Articles as normative, though nothing stops them from doing so, even if they are not clergy of the CoE, and affected by the 1571 Act of Subscription.

That aside, yes, many Anglicans make the distinct between the Domincal ones, established in word and form by Our Lord, and others, not so identified. Or only two, total. Or seven, like me.

Can’t pin those Anglicans down.


I think there is 7 because that’s how many Jesus instituted. For Reconciliation for example he said to the apostles whose sins you forgive they are forgiven and…

It’s possible that the apostles saw Jesus bless the dying as they were following him around???

And on a side note about this… I was thinking of the Luminous Mysteries initiated by JPII…

  1. Baptism in the Jordon. Giving his blessing toBaptism begun by John
  2. Wedding feast at Cana. Giving his blessing to Marriage by working first public miracle for his mother.
  3. Proclamation of the Kingdom. Giving his blessing and demonstratingHoly Orders go and teach all nations.
  4. Transfiguration… ***Still thinking about this one.
  5. Institution of Holy Eucharist… Giving his blessing and directions for Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper.

From the article on “Sacraments” in the Catholic Encyclopedia:
According to some writers Otto of Bamberg (1139), the Apostle of Pomerania, was the first who clearly adopted the number seven (see Tanquerey, “De sacr.”). Most probably this honour belongs to Peter Lombard (d. 1164) who in his fourth Book of Sentences (d. i, n.2) defines a sacrament as a sacred sign which not only signifies but also causes grace, and then (d.ii, n.1) enumerates the seven sacraments.

The number seven is a sign of fullness in Scripture and tradition. To “swear” (an oath) in Hebrew is to “seven” oneself. The word is the same. Sacraments are oath/covenental actions.


This. Seven is pefection. Specifically worldly perfection, while 3 is divine perfection. The first 3 commandments are about God, while the other 7 are about humans. Also, there are 3 sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist), 3 sacraments that leave a mark on the soul (Baptism, Confirmation, Orders), 3 sacraments that are intended to be received multiple times (Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing), Holy Orders can be received 3 times (deacon, priest, bishop), and if you count the Eucharist as a sacrament that can heal then there are 3 sacraments of healing (Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing).

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