Literally, “a military oath” taken by the Roman soldiers not to
desert their standard, turn their back on the enemy, or abandon their
general. We also, in the sacrament of baptism, take a military oath “to
fight manfully under the banner of Christ.” The early Christians used
the word to signify “a sacred mystery,” and hence its application to
the Baptism and Eucharist, and in the Roman Catholic Church to
marriage, confirmation, etc.
The five sacraments
are Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction.
(See Thirty-nine Articles,
The seven sacraments
are Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Orders,
Matrimony, and Extreme Unction.
The two sacraments
of the Protestant Church are Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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