The Seven Sacraments
A Sacrament: “A visible sign instituted by Christ, to give grace.”
The seven sacraments touch all the stages and important moments of Christian life (CCC 1210). Jesus, in his human experience understood our need for signs and symbols of God’s love and grace, so he gave us the sacraments. By the sacraments, our faith is expressed, nourished and strengthened.
“Through visible symbols of bread, wine, water, oil and through the lives of ordinary people, God makes real in our day, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the presence of the life giving Spirit…We are called to be a sacrament to the world, a visible sign of Jesus. Though we are imperfect, even sinful at times, we strive towards the perfection of God to which Jesus calls us” (Sandra DeGidio, What Makes Us Catholic: Jesus as a Sacrament).
- Baptism – brings new life in Christ
- Confirmation – strengthens the new life, completes the sacramental grace of baptism
- Eucharist – nourishes us with Christ’s Body and Blood
- Reconciliation – returns us to our Lord after we sin
- Anointing of the Sick – heals us through the laying on of hands and prayer
- Holy Orders – calls men to minister to us in Jesus’ place
- Marriage – a Holy union under God