Can the Church Sacraments be sold, so that a price is fixed eg. for baptism, or for the anointing of the sick?
The sacraments cannot be sold, because they are derived from the work of the Holy Spirit. And the gifts of the Holy spirit are not to be purchased by money (Acts 8:20).
However, if on the occasion of a baptism a person wants to give something to the Church, not as payment but as an offering, like a sacrifice of praise, then a box can be found in the Church for such contributions as these and a person can put in as much as he likes, without anything being demanded from him. And the Church probably cannot tell whether this person has given anything or not, and if it did know that he had put something in the donation box, then it couldn’t tell whether it was a large or small sum.
Generally speaking, we encourage baptism as something necessary for salvation (Mark 16:16), so it would be unthinkable for the Church to ask for something material in exchange for it…
Furthermore, we strongly invite people to get their children baptised, and criticise them if they are too slow in doing so. We rejoice with them on the day of baptism, because it is on that day that the one being baptised becomes a member of the Church, a member of the body of Christ, and one of the children of God.
If someone on this happy day wishes to make an offering to God, then this is something that springs from that person’s heart and feelings.
There is no compulsion or forcing someone to do so, and no fee is charged, God forbid!
We can say the same about the other similar sacraments too.
Take the anointing of the sick, for example, this is an act of love, and is a prayer on behalf of the sick person.
It would be inconceivable for this to become an occasion for raking in money! If it were to, it would lose whatever love and concern it had, and the sick person would not feel the value of a prayer that he had paid for, and which wouldn’t be said unless it had been paid for.
If only we would remember always what our Lord said to His disciples: “Freely you have received, freely give. (Matt. 10:8)
What is paid to the Church sometimes on certain occasions, is not a fee for the sacrament, but a voluntary offering to the Lord. The sacraments are not for sale: no price can be put on them.