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Comparative Theology, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
68- Repentance precedes all other sacraments
(9) Repentance precedes all other sacraments
The Sacrament of Repentance precedes the Sacrament of Baptism as St. Peter the Apostle says: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised” (Acts 2: 38). It precedes the Sacrament of Eucharist, as our teacher St. Paul the Apostle says: “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord's Body” (1Cor.11: 27-29). The Sacrament of Repentance also precedes the Sacrament of the Holy Unction, and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. Our teacher James the Apostle says: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (Jas.5: 14,15).
The same applies to the rest of the Sacraments because so long as the Sacraments are graces of the Holy Spirit then they should be prepared for by purifying the heart through repentance but since our brethren the Protestants do not believe in Sacraments nor in repentance as a Sacrament, these words are outside their concepts.
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