The Sacraments are defined as outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ to help individuals in their spiritual life and to grow in holiness. Sacraments are mysteries; they are signs of the sacred presence of our God in our midst today. They are more than mere signs, however, for the sacraments impart grace. The sacraments help to make people holy and build-up the body of Christ. They are a way to relate to God throughout life’s transitions and help us to give praise and worship to God. They help us to nourish, strengthen, and express our faith. Through the sacraments, Jesus remains with His people, strengthening, healing, feeding, and forgiving them as they face life’s challenges.
The Catholic Church celebrates seven Sacraments, which were instituted by Christ during his earthly ministry and which continue to define the liturgical life of the Church today.
The Sacraments are:
Baptism is the first of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, and it marks the beginning of a person’s journey in to faith with God. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation.
Reconciliation, which is also known as Confession or Penance, it is the healing and reconciling action of the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation is a continuance of what has begun at our baptism; a continuance of the developing awareness and reality of faith and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Eucharist means Thanksgiving. The eating of the bread and wine, which are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to be the food of eternal life, is the sign of our union with Christ.
The sacrament of marriage celebrates the love and friendship between a man and a woman.
Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Jesus to his Apostles continues to be exercised in the Church to the end of time. This holy vocation provides the Church with priests for the faithful.
The Anointing of the Sick or Extreme Unction, is the ultimate healing sacrament, available whenever our health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age.