Different religions have different symbols, which denote different meanings that might be peculiar to a given religion. For instance, the Catholic Church has the rosary, which is the centre of their prayers. Most Catholics and orthodox churches have sacraments, which the pastors or the priests confer to the congregation.
Each Christian church has its own form of a sacrament, which depend on how the pioneers of the faith interpreted the bible. Conventionally, the pastor, priest, bishop, or pope (incase of Catholicism and Orthodox) who confers the ceremonies to the congregation. The next discussion analyses the sacrament as the major symbol in the Christian religion highlighting the importance of the ceremonies.
Significantly, the sacrament is a crucial religious practice in Christianity especially Catholicism. Depending on the religion sacrament can be in the form of Eucharist, baptism, repentance, confirmation, matrimony, orders, or extreme unction. All participants have to attend religious training on Christian virtues, the bible, and other moral practices in order to receive the sacraments (Gula Para.10). The sacrament of baptism precedes all the other seven.
Therefore, the sacrament is a symbol of cleanliness or purity in Christianity. Baptism is through water whereby Christians believe that they are free from sins immediately after the ceremony. The sacrament of penance/repentance ensures that Christians promote love, peace, and unity in their relationships. The ceremony of sacrament usually takes place in a large congregation.
In most cases, bread, the symbol of the body of Christ grace, the ceremonies. In the contemporary society, the sacraments promote humanity because staunch Christians strictly follow the religious teachings of the sacraments. Depending on the calendar of the church, most Christians believe that, for any of them to succeed or prosper in life, s/he have to respect/practice the sacraments.
Originally, the world had two common religions; Islam and Catholicism but the emergence of protestant churches has led to diverse doctrines about Christianity and more so the sacraments. Although the rate of participation of the ceremony of the sacrament is high, the participants in the protestant churches are less when compared to the catholic. The disparity lies in the perception that most of the catholic sacramental ceremonies are rituals and not based on Jesus Christ or Christian virtues (Reumann Para.4).
Secondly, the attitudes and satisfaction of leadership and subsequent faith in churches also affects the participation in the sacraments. Sometimes most participants especially the youths do so if they have attended Christian based institutions.
On the other hand, criticisms of some sacraments by people have also affected the participation in the ceremonies. For instance, the sacrament of repentance/penance in the Catholic Church has drawn critical views from people. Catholics repent through their priest by reciting the following words “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned” (Gula Para.1).
However, according to Protestants the death of Jesus enabled all Christians to communicate directly to God/Jesus and not through the priests or human beings. In addition, the variation of participation in the sacraments also depends at, which age a person started practicing his/her religion. For example, infants who are born within the religion may either drop or hold on it while new participants are likely to hold on it forever (Menninger 50).
Commonly, the people who uphold the sacraments are elderly people and consistently participate in the other activities of the church. Finally, the bible scriptures, which led to the establishment of the Sacraments, are the basis of Catholic and Orthodox faith. On the contrary, the protestant churches have specialized in the interpretation of the New Testament, which the worshippers strictly uphold.
The sacraments of Christianity determine the personality and moral behavior of either a community or a person. Believers who practice the same sacramental ceremonies promote similar human and moral virtues.
Through sacraments, Christians not only express their faith, but also practice sanctity (Neal 96). For instance, the sacrament of penance calls for repentance and reconciliation among the believers and communities. Therefore, any person who adheres to the doctrines will undoubtedly promote peace, love, and unity in the society. Secondly, the sacraments also promote a sense of belonging among the Christians.
Each religion has a given symbol like attire, practice, or object, which is unique. Salvation is a crucial belief in Christianity; however, in Catholicism, an individual has to practice or celebrate all the sacraments to acquire salvation. Ideally, salvation not only promotes holiness but also purity, personality virtues like self-esteem, patience, and confidence among others. Therefore, sacrament ceremonies instill the virtues of Christianity in both communities and people who practice them.
In summary, Christianity is one of the commonly practiced religions in the world. Protestant and catholic are the common churches in the world. However, although all the churches allude from the bible, the Catholics and Orthodox churches depend solely on the scriptures and Sacraments. The Protestants mainly elaborate the New Testaments relating their interpretation with the contemporary world. The Christians who depend on the sacraments promote their faith through rituals, but this has led to criticisms from the non-believers. The sacramental rituals shape the personality, behavior, and daily practices of the Christians.
Gula, Richard. Understanding Sin Today. Americancatholic.Org. N.D. Web. 21
Menninger, Karl. Whatever Became Of Sin? New York: Hawthorn Books, 1973.
Neal, Gregory. Grace upon Grace. Texas: Koinonia Press, 2000.
Reumann, John. Justification by Faith: The Lutheran-Catholic Convergence, Nd. Web. 21 November 2011.