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If seven is the symbol of perfection, why do we not receive all seven sacraments?

Full Question

If seven is the symbol of perfection, why do we not receive all seven sacraments?

Answer

Seven is a symbol of perfection in biblical numerology, and the fact that there are seven sacraments may symbolize the perfection of God’s grace offered to mankind collectively through the work of Christ on the cross. Nonetheless, it is not necessary for individuals to receive all seven sacraments. Some of the sacraments, particularly the vocational sacraments of holy orders and matrimony, are meant to empower or strengthen the individual in his state of life. He does not need sacraments that do not pertain to his individual vocation.


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  1. This answer does not address the issue of WHY “it is not necessary for individuals to receive all seven sacraments”. This is an interesting question to me. Does anyone have an answer (hopefully citing sources from Vatican documents or Church Fathers)?

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