hands, imposition of


hands, imposition of

▪ Judaism and Christianity
also called  Laying On Of Hands,  

      ritual act in which a priest or other religious functionary places one or both hands palms down on the top of another person's head, usually while saying a prayer or blessing. The imposition of hands was first practiced in Judaism and was adopted by Christianity. In the Hebrew Bible it is associated with three interrelated ideas: consecration (i.e., setting apart for the service of God), transmission of a divine gift, and identification (the means whereby an offerer was linked with his sacrifice).

      In the New Testament the same ideas are present; all of these ideas are connected with ordination and Baptism, in both of which the imposition of hands is a standard part of the ritual. Ordination involves both setting apart and the conveyance of a gift, and the theme of identification is implicit in that the one ordained shares in the authority and is the representative of the ordainer. The imposition of hands connected with baptism is a means whereby the convert is identified and so brought into the community; it is further a setting apart for the service of God and is, on occasion, connected with the gift of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament further indicates that the imposition of hands conveyed a blessing and was a means of healing.

      The early church continued these uses and added two more: the imposition of hands for the blessing of catechumens (i.e., those preparing for baptism) and for the reconciliation of penitents and heretics. The church has preserved the use of this ritual act, primarily in the rites of ordination and confirmation.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • hands, imposition of — A physical symbol of transfer of authority to a person who is thus commissioned or set apart (Gen. 48:18; Num. 27:18; Acts 8:19; 1 Tim. 4:14) …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • hands, imposition of —  Рукоположение …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Imposition of Hands — • A symbolical ceremony by which one intends to communicate to another some favour, quality or excellence (principally of a spiritual kind), or to depute another to some office Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Imposition of Hands      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Imposition — Im po*si tion, n. [F., fr. L. impositio the application of a name to a thing. See {Impone}.] 1. The act of imposing, laying on, affixing, enjoining, inflicting, obtruding, and the like. From imposition of strict laws. Milton. [1913 Webster] Made… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imposition — [im΄pə zish′ən] n. [OFr < L impositio, a laying upon, application] 1. an imposing or imposing on; specif., a) the forcing of oneself, one s presence or will, etc. on another or others without right or invitation; obtrusion b) a taking… …   English World dictionary

  • Imposition of Hands —    A technical term for the Laying on of Hands by the Bishop in Confirmation. Wheatley on the Prayer Book remarks: This is one of the most ancient ceremonies in the world. It has always been used to determine the blessing pronounced to those… …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • imposition — n 1. infliction, laying on, application, superposition, charging, burdening, loading, placement; levying, assessment, prescription, enactment. 2. charge, task, burden, duty; tax, load, onus, encumbrance; requirement, injunction, ultimatum; impost …   A Note on the Style of the synonym finder

  • imposition — /im peuh zish euhn/, n. 1. the laying on of something as a burden or obligation. 2. something imposed, as a burden or duty; an unusual or extraordinarily burdensome requirement or task. 3. the act of imposing by or as if by authority. 4. an… …   Universalium

  • imposition of hands —    This term (from the Latin in, meaning into, and ponere, meaning to place ) refers to the practice of laying hands on the candidates who are to receive the sacraments of Confirmation (see CCC 1288) and Holy Orders (seeCCC 1538, 1556, 1558,… …   Glossary of theological terms

  • Imposition of Hands — A manner of blessing used in the Old Testament (Gen. 48) and followed by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who used it in working miracles, and by the Church. The Apostles and the primitive Church employed after baptism for attaining the grace of… …   Dictionary of church terms


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