What are Sacraments?

The Sacraments

Jesus gave His Church, through His Apostles, seven visible signs of His love for His people.  These seven signs we call "Sacraments".  We can further break the seven down into three basic groups.

Sacraments of Initiation:

Baptism

Eucharist

Confirmation

 

Sacraments of Service:

 Matrimony

Holy Orders

 

Sacraments of Healing:

Reconciliation/Penance/Confession

Anointing of the Sick

 

The Baltimore Catechism defines a sacrament  "A sacrament is a visible sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace." Within this definition there are three important statements:

 

A visible sign

A minister performs actions, says specific prayers and uses other elements to confer the sacrament.

When we baptize, we use water, holy oils, a white garment, and a candle to symbolize spiritual realities of our actions.

 

Instituted by Christ

In our Sacred Scriptures, Jesus appointed his Apostles with these Sacraments.
 

To give grace 

God gives Himself to us free and without merit on our part.

 

Please review the individual Sacraments listed on the menu for more on each.