The Church is that living institution which is eternally joined to Christ, whose task it is to guide and bring all its children to God in His eternal Kingdom. All Orthodox Christians are called upon to observe the commandments of God: to love God with all their being and their fellow man as themselves; but, they must also participate in the liturgical and sacramental life of His Church.
There are at least seven sacraments in the Orthodox Church. The first is baptism which is the Christian rite of initiation in the Church. Chrismation is the second sacrament which bestows upon us the Holy Spirit. Holy Communion is the sacrament of receiving the resurrected body and blood of Jesus Christ. Although all Orthodox Christians are to confess their sins daily to God privately, all are encouraged to participate in the sacrament of Confession with a priest. Marriage is a sacrament of the Church for it is Christ himself through the priest or bishop that joins the couple together. Ordination to the sacred priesthood is also a sacrament, as is Holy Oil (Unction) which the faithful are anointed with for the healing of soul and body and for the forgiveness of sins.
It is the sacraments of the Church that manifest God’s saving energies in our lives. A life without the sacraments is like a life without God. One of the Church’s important functions besides preaching, teaching and caring for her children, is to make these sacraments available to her people.
The Sacraments, as they are traditionally numbered, are:
1. Holy Baptism
2. Holy Chrismation
3. The Holy Eucharist
4. Repentance (Penance, Confession)
5. Holy Orders
6. Holy Matrimony
7. The Anointing of the Sick