What are the Seven Sacraments?
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.
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.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as the Sacrament of Penance, is where we find God’s unconditional forgiveness, and as a result we are called to forgive others. We are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Penance frequently throughout our lifetime so that we can benefit from the graces we obtain through reception of this sacrament.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is a mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. Like Baptism and Eucharist, it is a Sacrament of Initiation for Catholics and a Sacrament of faith in God’s fidelity to us.
The Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, 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.
In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, also known as Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness. Through this sacrament, the Church comforts and supports the person who is suffering and continues the healing ministry of Christ. For those who are about to die, the Church, in addition to the Anointing of the Sick, offers the Eucharist as viaticum – food for the journey home.