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SACRAMENTAL MYSTERIES

The Holy Mysteries of the Church are physical signs that confer and reveal an invisible reality. It is through the Holy Mysteries that one participates in the life of Christ. Here is what the Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church says about the Holy (Sacramental) Mysteries:

“The saving and sanctifying action of the church is accomplished in seven Holy Mysteries…through these sacred actions of the Church, Christ grants the grace of the Holy Spirit. Through these Mysteries the Church sanctifies the faithful on their journey to the fullness of life in Christ. Through visible signs (e.g., water, chrism, bread and wine, the laying on of hands) Christ builds up his Church in the Holy Mysteries. In the liturgical actions of the Mysteries it is God’s grace that acts, and believers enter into God’s life. By participating in the visible form of a Mystery, that is, through the liturgical action, we become partakers of God’s salvific action of grace. “The unbeliever, hearing of a laver, counts it merely as water: but I behold not simply the thing which is seen, but the purification of the soul which is by the Spirit. (St. John Chrysostom)” The external form of the rite and its material expressions are vital as they signify our deification and manifest the first fruits of transfigured nature.” (405)

There are seven Holy (Sacramental) Mysteries in the Church, divided into three categories:

HOLY MYSTERIES OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION
Baptism     Confirmation     Eucharist

“Participation in the life of the Most Holy Trinity becomes a reality for us through the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, and Eucharist. In other words, we partake of God’s life by being united to Christ, receiving the seal of the Holy Spirit, and sharing the Body and Blood of Christ in the community called Church. As a person after birth begins to breathe and then receives nourishment in order to live, so the newly baptized, born to new life in the baptismal font, begins to breathe by the Holy Spirit and receives the nourishment of Holy Communion in order to grow in Christ. Through the prayers and sacred actions of the liturgical rite of each of these Mysteries, the Church leads the faithful (the Greek Fathers speak of mystagogy – leading into the mystery) into an understanding of the Mystery and perceiving it as a single, unified action of God’s grace. This is why in the tradition of the Eastern Church, these three holy mysteries are celebrated together.” (Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, 408)

HOLY MYSTERIES OF HEALING
Repentance     Anointing of the Sick

“Christ came into the world to heal and save the human race, to renew the wholeness lost by human persons. During his earthly life, Christ, the healer of human souls and bodies, remitted sins and healed the sick. After his Ascension, he continues to do this in his Church by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Holy Mysteries of Repentance and Holy Anointing.” (Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, 448)

HOLY MYSTERIES OF SERVICE
Marriage     Holy Orders

“In the Holy Mysteries of Marriage and Holy Orders, the Christian receives the grace of the Holy Spirit for the building up of the Church, the Body of Christ. In the Holy Mystery of Marriage, the Church blesses a man and woman called by Christ to create a domestic church – a Christian family. In the mystery of Holy Orders the Church, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, appoints men, called by Christ for the service of the community of the faithful to proclaim the Gospel, to be pastors for the People of God, and to sanctify them. The perfect model of service both in matrimony and in Holy Orders is Christ, who ‘came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Matthew 20:28).” (Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, 470)