The Sacraments Give Us a Collective Identity

The Sacraments Give Us a Collective Identity

What It Means to Be in Christ

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The sacraments, much like the issue of personal identity, are subject to debate and confusion. Numerous catechisms ask, “What is a sacrament?”—a question that leads some Christians

to enter into intense theological and pastoral disputes and causes others to recoil in fear of appearing ignorant or of potentially offending those who hold divergent opinions.

Still others apply their own personal understanding to these ancient rites while disregarding how Christians of past generations have understood and practiced them. If we wish to see clearly the connection between the sacraments and Christian identity, we must get clear on what the sacraments are. Before we are able to explore in detail what the sacraments teach us about being in-Christ persons, we must first understand how they are able to teach us—and indeed form us. The sacraments are sources of revelation—alongside though never instead of or above Scripture—means through which God communicates his love and goodness to his children. Let’s now consider additional though related features of the sacraments, features that help us see more clearly how baptism and Communion are able to declare what it means to be in Christ and to shape us into persons who become like him.

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Christian Musicological Society of India is an international forum for interdisciplinary research, discussion, and dissemination of knowledge, on the music, art and dance of about thirty million Christians in India, who belong to a diverse set of communities and linguistic groups and follow a variety of liturgical traditions some of which date back to the early Christian era. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Joseph J. Palackal CMI, the Society hopes that such researches will draw attention to the lesser known aspects of India in connection with the rest of the world.


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