A sacrament may be seen as an outward sign of an internal grace. However, a sacrament is something that is experienced by the person undergoing it. It is this experience, which is personal and different for everyone, that provides the reason for a group to get together and share a ritual. The ritual provides an environment in which personal experience may occur and may be shared with fellow seekers. In our view a church was never meant to place an intermediary between the human being and his or her Divine Origin -call it God, if you wish- but rather to help each human being create and maintain the link with this Divine Origin. In this sense a priest’s primary task is to make himself or herself redundant. To assist the seeker to find truth by own, inner experience, the Young Rite follows the traditional church in offering the following seven sacraments:
Baptism Strengthens the connection between the personality and soul. Generally conferred by a priest at any time of day.
Confirmation Strengthens the resolve to work towards spiritual unfoldment. Conferred by a bishop, generally during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Absolution Helps to accept things done imperfectly so that these no longer impede further progress. Conferred by a priest during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, a Healing Service or at any other occasion. Confession is not required and regular confession is even actively discouraged. However, if a person has weighty things on their mind that they do wish to confess, the possibility to do this is provided. Our view on sin is best worded in our Confiteor.
Communion Reconnect with the highest divine principle within oneself and with the Divine Origin. Communion is symbolized by consuming of the Body and Blood of our Lord Christ. This should not be taken literally, but should be seen as the privilege of incarnation (Body) imbued with the Christ life (Blood). The Holy Eucharist is the service during which the offerings (“…here do we offer unto thee our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a holy and continual sacrifice unto thee…”) are consecrated into the Body and Blood of our Lord Christ. The word “Eucharist” means “thanks” or “thanksgiving” and may be regarded as a guided meditation in which one may experience this communion. As such, the Holy Eucharist is the workhorse of the Young Rite.
Nuptual Strengthen the bond between any two people who wish to share each others’ lives as partners. The two people confer this sacrament on each other by exchanging vows and rings. Often the Nuptual service is followed with a Nuptual Eucharist.
Healing - Anointing Reconnect with the own, unique, assignment in the current stage of earthly life. Often illness, whether physical or psychological, is a symptom of inner disharmony. The healing service, during which the person is anointed with specially consecrated oils, assists to harmonize and provide impetus to seek the path that meets the inner desire. In the final stages of earthly life, the anointing may also be used to loosen the bonds with the earth so as to assist the process of passing away.
Holy Orders Provides a spiritual pathway to activate the priesthood already embedded in each and every human being. Holy orders are conferred by a bishop in an ordination service. In the Young Rite, major ordinations are always conferred during the traditional celebration (that is, not during an experimental celebration) of the Holy Eucharist. Persons requesting ordination need to meet certain requirements.
The above is necessarily an extremely brief summary of the sacraments.