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Sacraments in the Old Testament
Question from Georgette Cob on 5/2/2007:

I was asked a question pretaining to the reference of Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Orders, and Matrimony in the Old Testament. I was assured that they were all pre-figured in the Old Testament, and although I know circumcision is a pre-figuring of Baptism, I am unsure where to find Confirmation, Penance, Holy Orders and Matrimony in the OT. Where can I find them?

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 8/26/2007:

Baptism if prefigured by circumcision and by the crossing of the Red Sea and the Jordan, in the Exodus Event.

Holy Orders is prefigured by the Levitical priesthood established in the time of Moses, with Aaron and his sons as first priests--priesthood prior to this was exercised by the fathers of households.

There were various ways in which forgiveness of sins was accomplished, typically through some priestly sacrifice and act, such as on the Day of Atonement, through the blood of sacrificial animals.

Matrimony is found in Adam and Eve prior to the fall, for our Lord goes back to Genesis as it was and then goes even beyond that original condition of blessing

I suppose we can see in the special strength and sanctity of certain Old Testament saints the prefigurement of Confirmation, such as when prophets, priests and kings were anointed and judges were raised up, or other great figures such as the Patriarchs and Moses were given special charisms and grace by the Spirit of God, which is sometimes explicitly mentioned in such connections.

Thanks, Georgette

Father Echert

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