SANCTIFICATION THOROUGH SACRAMENTS
The Triune God is Holy. God’s people also must be holy None can behold God without sanctification (Hebrews 12:14) The church being the Body of Christ is intrinsically holy. Holinness of the church is imparted to and shared by the members of the church, through the sacraments (Mysteries)
In the orthodox Traditiion, although the term sacrament is not so common as the term ‘mystery ‘(rozo), the inner idea of the sacrament is endorsed and holistically acknowledged. The Latin term “sacramentum” is generally defined as the visible means of invisible grace and refers to certain specific events or acts or signs of Christian living. But according to the Orthodox understanding , scramentality is the very nature of the new creation in Christ and therefore it sounds odd to identify certain actsaor events or signs alone as ‘sacraments’ . However , the sacramentality , involved in our being born as the children of God in baptism , our participation on the life of the Incarnate Lord in eucharisatetc , is well recognized in the Orthodox churches .
Sacramental life is the style and order of our life in Jesus Christ. Eventhough the materiality is preserved and maintained, it is considered to be a transformed – materiality as manifested on the mount of Transfiguration. Eventhough we continue to be in a earthly fellowship, we realize a heavenly fellowship around us, in sacramental life.
Matter and Body are no more to be looked down as embodiments of sin, corruption and death; rather they become the media for the manifestation of God’s Glory.
Our values and relations also get sanctified in sacramental life because in sacraments the inner core of life is the sharing of common gifts. Spirit of sharing is opposite to the spirit of exploitation and selfish boarding of resources. The church as the community of the kingdom of God imparts to its members the values of the shared life in and through the sacraments.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Jacob Kurian.( Retd. Principal) Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam