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A Comparison of the Methodist and Catholic Sacraments

             It is surprising how many ways a single statement can be interpreted by a number of different people. Throughout the course of history differing interpretations have led to many kinds of conflict, with Christianity it is no different. The actions and the stories of one man, Jesus of Nazareth and the religion that spread because of what he did were recorded as the New Testament in the Christian Bible; over the years the interpretation of this book has caused many schisms in the Christian community. In this paper, I will focus on the sacraments and the differing views of Methodists and Catholics in this area. Religion is man trying to reach for God, and each man is unique so therefore he has his own way of explaining and reaching for God.
             Looking up the definition of the word "sacrament" brings up a few results that differ because of denominations in the church. In reference to Catholics, sacrament means "Any of the traditional seven rites that were instituted by Jesus and recorded in the New Testament and that confer sanctifying grace." (dictionary.com). The seven rites, or church rituals are: "baptism, penance, Eucharist, confirmation, matrimony, anointing of the sick, and holy orders." (Farah, Page 303) When looked at by Methodists and other Protestant denominations it means "The two rites, Baptism and the Eucharist, that were instituted by Jesus to confer sanctifying grace." (dictionary.com) The two that the denominations have in common are from their interpretations of the Bible; the other 5 that the Catholic Church has comes from various councils and traditions.
             The meaning of the sacrament of baptism to the Catholic Church is as follows: It signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the Paschal mystery of Christ. Baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water.

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