Sacraments

The Sacraments nourish and strengthen us as they express and build up our faith.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1210

Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.

What is a Sacrament?

A Sacrament is an outward sign established by Jesus Christ to confer inward grace. In more basic terms, it is a rite that is performed to convey God’s grace to the recipient, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

There are seven Sacraments, often organized into three categories: The Sacraments of Initiation, The Sacraments of Healing and The Sacraments of Service.

(CCC 1113)

The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments.

Acts 2:38

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Sacraments of Initiation

Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the Sacraments that establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism, are strengthened by Confirmation, and are then nourished along the journey of life by the Eucharist.

Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism cleanses us from sin and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

Confirmation

At Confirmation, we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and we are filled with God's grace through the anointing of chrism oil and the laying on of hands by a bishop.

Holy Eucharist

The Eucharist is not just a sign or symbol of Jesus. We believe that Jesus is truly and substantially present in the Eucharist.

Sacraments of Healing

Christian life also experiences the fullness of human life. The new life received in Baptism has not eliminated the frailty and weakness of human nature: illness and sin. The Sacraments of Healing are provided to renew and restore.

Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Penance, also referred to as Confession or Reconciliation, frees us from our sins and also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us.

Anointing of the Sick

A ritual of healing appropriate not only for those in immediate danger of death but also for those who are extremely sick, preparing for surgery or a major medical procedure or very aged.

Sacraments at the Service

The Sacraments of Initiation are the ground of everyone’s vocation in life. “Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God” (CCC 1534)

Marriage

The Sacrament of Marriage is a visible sign of God’s love for the Church. When a man and a woman are married in the Church, they receive the grace needed for a lifelong bond of unity.

Holy Orders

In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments, by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.

The Church Thus Teaches

There are seven sacraments. They were instituted by Christ and given to the Church to administer. They are necessary for salvation. The sacraments are the vehicles of grace which they convey. They are validly administered by the carrying out of the sign with the proper intention. Not all are equally qualified to administer all the sacraments. The validity of the sacrament is independent of the worthiness of the minister. Three sacraments imprint an indelible character.