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Seven Sacraments of the Armenian Apostolic Church

Sacraments are sacred rites which convey God’s divine grace or saving power upon the believers. There are seven sacraments of the Armenian Church:

  • Baptism;
  • Confirmation;
  • Holy Communion (Eucharist);
  • Holy Orders;
  • Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick);
  • Marriage (Holy Matrimony);
  • Penance (Confession).


Baptism is a sacrament through which people are absolved of their sins and become children of God. “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

The ceremony of baptism can be performed in two ways:

  • the priest pours or sprinkles the holy water three times upon the head and other parts of the body of a baptized person;
  • after having consecrated the water in the font with a prayer and the sign of the cross, the priest immerses an infant three times in the water.

Just as a man’s earthly birth happens only once, likewise the spiritual birth can happen only once, that is why baptism is not repeatable.

The Armenian Church accepts as authentic the baptism of those Churches that confess the Holy Trinity, and use the formula “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” during baptism.

If a person who has already been christened in an Orthodox, Catholic or other Church, wishes to become a member of the Armenian Apostolic Church, he/she does not need to be baptized for a second time.

The Sacrament of Baptism should take place in the Church. But under special circumstances, for example when a child is seriously sick, it is permissible to perform the ceremony of baptism at home or in some other proper place.

It is necessary to remember that baptism is the first sacrament which a Christian receives. Unless people are baptized, they are forbidden to receive any other sacraments.


Confirmation is a sacrament in which a baptized person is endowed by the gifts of the Holy Sprit. The Sacrament of Confirmation is the completion and perfection of the Sacrament of Baptism, that’s why confirmation takes place immediately after baptism.
In the Armenian Church the Sacrament of Confirmation is called “knounk” or “droshm”, which means “sealing”. By confirmation the baptized persons receive the blessings of the Holy Spirit to strengthen their spiritual life.


Penance is a sacrament which is the antonym of the word “despair” in the Church language. The penitent who realizes his/her sins and repents for them can confess them before God and the Church.

During the confession, the penitent reads a special supplication, in which all the possible misdeeds are enumerated. The penitent needs to have faith in Jesus Christ and hope for His mercy as well as the intention to rectify his/her life.

Those who want to receive the Sacrament of Penance should prepare themselves by fasting, praying and abstinence.

In some sense anything that the Church does as Church is sacramental, yet it recognizes these seven as "the major sacraments". They convey special spiritual blessings which can seriously change the life of a believer.


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