Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

LAYING ON OF HANDS

In both the Old and New Testaments a significant symbolic action denoting various meanings. Examples: Israel giving his parental blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:18); Moses passing his authority to his successor (Numbers 27:18); Joshua receiving the spirit of wisdom to lead his people (Deuteronomy 34:9); Aaron preparing the ram for sacrifice (Exodus 29:10). In the New Testament its symbolism took on a further and deeper meaning: Jesus blessing the children (Matthew 19:15); Jesus bringing the official's daughter back to life (Matthew 9:18); Peter and John calling down the Holy Spirit on the Samaritans (Acts 8:17). After Pentecost the laying on of hands especially denoted the conferral of the powers and authority of the episcopacy, which Christ had given to the Apostles. In the Catholic Church the sacrament of orders: the diaconate, priesthood, and episcopate are administered by a bishop through the laying on of hands.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17