An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual reality.
A sacrament is an outward (efficacious) sign instituted by Jesus to give grace. Sacraments use material, earthly objects to speak to and touch us in deep mysterious and spiritual ways. Jesus himself is the principle (or primordial) sacrament, because through His life He saves mankind. He leads us directly into the life of God, where all grace is to be found. His human nature is the outward sign of his Divine nature. Through his humanness we see and touch God. Through his human form we are led to God. Through his humanity the life of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) comes to us as grace through the sacraments. Jesus’ actions lead us directly into the life of God. Jesus mediates through the sacraments to allow grace to flow to humankind. By repeating Christ’s sacramental actions we receive the grace that brings us home to the heart of God. Finally, Jesus is the life that leads us to the vision of God in heaven, the fullness of salvation, eternal life.
The Church celebrates seven sacraments – signs of grace established by Christ and causing what they claim to signify (symbolically reveal).
. Holy Baptism (to find out more, Click Here)
. Confirmation (to find out more, Click Here)
. Holy Eucharist (to find out more, Click Here)
. The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) (to find out more, Click Here)
. The Sacrament of the Sick (Anointing)(to find out more, Click Here)
. Holy Orders (The Ordination of Men and Women as Bishops, Priests and Deacons)(to find out more, Click Here)
. Marriage (to find out more, Click Here)
The Liturgy at All Saints’, Orpington
We believe that liturgy has the power to change lives and worship can transform our community. Some might be tempted to think of liturgy as simply meaning “ritual” or ceremony. However, while liturgy does include ritual it is something much deeper than mere ritualism or ceremonial, and it is more than just the communal expression of our personal feelings of devotion. The Liturgy draws us into the mysterious life of God.
Neither is liturgy just a matter of taste, or churchmanship. Liturgy is central to the Christian tradition and is an integral part of the Christian family’s relationship with God. The signs, symbols and sacred actions which form public prayer and worship spring from the language and events of God’s own self-revelation. Every aspect of the Church’s liturgy has its roots in scripture and the earliest church tradition. Anglicanism’s liturgical celebrations arise directly out of the mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ and are part of the very means by which we enter into that mystery.
The liturgy does not stop with church services, our entire lives are a part of the liturgy of life as we worship God through our daily actions: work, rest, recreation and service. Worship is also continually happening in heaven, and we Christians, look to model our lives so that they may reflect that heavenly worship in all we do – the liturgy of life.
In order that we may stand any hope of being able to do this, we come together as a Christian community at significant moments during the week and commit just an hour or so of our time to engaging in the timeless truths unravelled through the sacraments, focussing intently upon our service and worship to God. As Christians we strive to learn more about our faith and explore our understanding and relationship with God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The liturgy and learning help form us into people enabled to travel on our journey with the God who loves us and whose mercies are limitless.
Liturgy and Worship is one of the central most important activities of the Church.
The word liturgy (from Greek: leitourgía) literally means ‘to give service’, and the word worship (from Greek: proskuneo) means ‘to fall/bow down before’. Liturgy is therefore more that just praise, it is also devotion. Devotion towards the self-giving God who gives everything so that we may have all. Therefore, as Christians we regularly meet around the Holy Table and come together to celebrate God, who is of greatest worth to us, and to give service to Him and each other.