The lesser Sacraments
There are five lesser sacraments:
Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation of Penitents and Unction.
Confirmation is when a baptised person makes a mature commitment to God and receives a special blessing from the Bishop. The Holy Spirit, given once for all in our Baptism, strengthens us again (confirms us) in our commitment to Jesus. Normally Anglicans can only receive Holy communion after confirmation.
Ordination is when a person is received into the ministry of the church. The Church of England maintains the historic threefoild ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. Its ministers are ordained by bishops according to authorised orders of service, with the laying-on of hands. Some ordained people remain as deacons, others go on to be ordained as priests.
When Anglicans are married they come to church to be blessed by God and to make a public commitment to each other in the sight of the whole community. This is Holy Matrimony. The couple are blessed by God and may be certain that the people of God will support them throughout their life together.
Reconciliation of Penitents
Sometimes people need a personal assurance that God has forgiven them . Jesus Christ died on the Cross for us all. A priest can offer that assurance formally or informally in the reconciliation of penitents.
When someone is very ill the priest will anoint them with oil as a sign of God's love and healing. This is called unction. Ordination All the people of God share in Jesus' mission and ministry. Anglicans believe that the ordained ministry is a gift to the whole Church to focus our ministry and to enable everyone to know and fulfil their gifts in God's service. When God calls someone to this special ministry they are trained and then the bishop ordains them by laying hands on their head and praying.