THE LATIN WORD SACRAMENTUM MEANS "A SIGN OF THE SACRED."
The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God's saving presence. That's what theologians mean when they say that sacraments are both signs and instruments of God's grace.
"The Sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions."
Catechism of the Catholic Church
All seven sacraments were established by Jesus Christ during His ministry and have been in use by the Church from its inception. The sacraments provide grace, from the sacrificial death of Christ on the Cross, to the faithful throughout their lives, from birth to death. Reception of the sacraments in accord with the teaching of the Church is the ordinary means of salvation for all the faithful.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church’s way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God. In this sacrament all personal sins are forgiven, and we’re infused with the grace necessary for salvation.
Click here to learn more about Baptism.
Confirmation is a Catholic Sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation for Catholics. It is most often associated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Click here to learn more about Confirmation.
Catholics believe the Eucharist, or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ’s Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.
Click here to learn more about the Eucharist.
The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Penance, or Confession) forgives sins committed after Baptism. In it we find God’s unconditional forgiveness; as a result, we are called to forgive others.
Click here to learn more about Reconciliation.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values.
Click here to learn more about Marriage.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is a ritual of healing, appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness. Through the Sacrament of Anointing, Christ strengthens the faithful who are afflicted by illness.
Click here to learn more about the Anointing of the Sick.
Holy Orders is the Sacrament by which bishops, priests and deacons are ordained and receive the power and grace to perform their sacred duties.
Click here to learn more about Holy Orders.