In other words, sacraments that are more than just external symbols but actually confer the grace they signify. Which non-Catholic denominations believe about themselves that they have such sacraments – and what sacraments are they?
From the Catholic point of view, baptism may be conferred by anyone who has the right intention and uses the Trinitarian formula. Also, marriage may be celebrated by other Christians. Finally, some churches like the Polish National Catholic Church have valid ordinations, and consequently sacraments recognized as valid (and graceful) by the Catholic Church.
If they use the Trinitarian form, Baptism is the only one that comes to mind.
Lutherans have two sacraments; Holy Communion and Holy Baptism. Both are means of grace.
The original, mainstream Protestant traditions–Lutheran, Reformed, and Anglican–all believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper convey the grace they signify, when received by faith. Later Protestant movements may or may not teach this. Anglo-Catholics recognize seven sacraments, and in the U.S. can take some aid and comfort from the 1979 Catechism, which says that the five “lesser” sacraments are not on the same level as the two sacraments of the Gospel, but doesn’t deny their sacramentality outright.
My understanding is that Catholics acknowledge our baptisms and marriages as valid, but not our Eucharists or ordinations, and (for Anglicans and Lutherans, who practice private confession with absolution at least in some parishes) not our confessions either.
Are sacraments what distinguish “high church” from “low church”?
Seem to be one of the things.
Authodox sees a Sacrament as an outward sign of inward grace ordained by Jesus Christ, by which grace is given.
Sacraments always give grace.
Both Authodox and Catholic Traditions, the Sacraments have the power of giving grace from the merits of Christ’s Precious blood.
But of course, you already knew that Flameburn:)
The validity of baptisms has nothing to do with the denomination. All that is required for a valid baptism is the matter (water) and form (“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”). Any person can baptize.
The sacrament of marriage can be validly conferred by any baptized man (who is free to marry) upon any baptized woman (who is free to marry) and vice versa as long as proper consent is given on both sides. For this reason, the validity of marriage also does not depend upon the denomination.
All of the other sacraments require valid orders. So the Eucharist, Confirmation, Confession, Anointing of the Sick, and Ordination can only be conferred by a minister who is validly ordained.
The only non-Catholic denominations that have valid orders are the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches. All of their sacraments are valid.
Now, there may be other isolated instances where a denomination has valid orders (e.g., if a validly ordained bishop left his Apostolic church and went to form some wacky new breakoff denomination) but all of these would have to be analyzed on a case by case basis.
None of the Protestant denominations have valid orders.
I agree with what you say, but I stated in the original post “…Which non-Catholic denominations believe about themselves…”. It’s my understanding that many non-Catholic Christians do not believe their baptism confers grace but is only an external sign. It’s interesting that we Catholics recognize the sacramental nature of baptism for our seperated bretheren and that they receive far more than they themselves believe.
The terms can be used in a lot of different ways, but yes, a stronger view of sacramental grace is one of the things that makes a church “high.” (The primary reference is usually liturgy–“high churches” have more traditional liturgy, while “low churches” have a more revivalistic or contemporary style. But this goes along with certain theological beliefs, generally. And one can speak of high church theology as opposed to liturgy–it’s a matter of definition.)
this is a little off topic, but I find it interesting that when Christians are separated from the Catholic Church by an attack on the Eucharist, thereby losing holy orders, they lose **FIVE **Sacraments, and how, in every one of four respective versions of the Gospels where Christ feeds the multitudesm (no doubt, a Eucharistic text), he feeds them with FIVE loaves and **TWO **fish. Perhaps a metaphor for how the disunity of Christians, which clearly centers over the Eucharist, and which is a sign of Christian unity, truly causes this sacramental rift:
from an essay of mine:
**Five **Loaves and Two Fish, the Seven Sacraments?: The discourse on the miraculous feeding of the multitudes with five loaves and two fish is highly connected with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist is the Sacrament of Sacraments, the ultimate sign of the unity Christ willed for his disciples. Is it not then possible that these same five loaves and two fish deal with an intrinsic mystery associated with the disunity of Chrisitans?
As stated above by me, the PNCC is recognized by the Catholic Church as a church with valid orders.