The Seven Sacraments are central rituals in the Catholic Church and other Christian traditions. People believe that they are outward signs of inward grace, which Christ instituted and entrusted to the Church. Our Catholic vocation calls us to receive these sacraments as a means of experiencing God’s grace.

Types of Sacraments

We categorize the sacraments into three groups. These groups are initiation, healing, and service of Communion.

The initiation group includes Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. The healing group consists of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick. Lastly, the service of Communion group includes Marriage and Holy Orders.

Baptism. Through the sacrament of Baptism people are reborn, celebrating new life in Christ. Confirmation empowers them. They receive the holy meal of eternal life, the Eucharist.

The word Baptism refers to the first sacrament people receive. Infant baptism is celebrated early in life, but adults can be baptized too.

Christian baptism cleanses individuals of original sin and initiates them into the Christian faith. In the sprinkling or pouring of water, the water symbolizes purification, and rebirth. Colossians 2:12 illustrates this powerful reality.

Babies and young children typically celebrate this sacrament at church. Babies and young children frequently receive this sacrament at church. Their parents bring them and invite two godparents to participate in the sacrament and the child’s spiritual development.

Older children participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. During Easter Vigil, they celebrate Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. This is when they receive Holy Communion, which is the Body and Blood of Christ, for the first time. In churches, older children and adults receive baptism by immersion or having water poured on them.

They celebrate the sacrament of Baptism during Easter Vigil. People who have prepared for months undergo baptism, confirmation, and receive the Eucharist. Everyone learns as they watch this sacred

seven sacraments Eucharist is a sacrament where Catholics share bread and wine that they believe becomes the body and blood of Christ. People also know it as Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Eucharist is a remembrance of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and a central act of worship in the Christian faith.

Reconciliation: The priest grants forgiveness on behalf of God through absolution, and the individual reconciles with the Church community. People can celebrate reconciliation face to face with a priest or behind a screen.

May Jesus Christ forgive you. I, with His power, forgive you from all punishment of being banned and forbidden.  Thereupon, I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In the Catholic church, there are new words for forgiveness.

God, the Father of mercy, has made peace with the world through his son’s death and resurrection. He has sent the Holy Spirit to forgive sins. Through the church‘s work, God grants you forgiveness and peace. I forgive your sins in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

seven sacramentsConfirmation,  also called Chrismation in some traditions, completes Baptism by sealing the recipient with the Holy Spirit. A bishop confirms by using chrism oil and laying hands. It can happen at a cathedral or local parish, either in a group or individual setting. The local priest at Easter Vigil can receive permission to confirm those in his church who were in the RCIA process.

During Communion, people partake in consecrated bread and wine. They can receive it from a priest or a Eucharistic minister. During Covid churches discontinued sharing the wine, but once again many churches are again sharing the cup.

seven sacraments

Marriage: A particular Catholic vocation is that of marriage. The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant expressing a relationship between persons. Marriage is a lifelong bond between a man and a woman. In this bond, they can understand and care for each other. Additionally, they can have a connection with God.

The celebration of marriage is also a liturgical act, typically held in a public liturgy at church. The Church urges Catholics to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy.

Holy Orders.  A Catholic vocation is a unique calling from God.  For many Catholics, their particular vocation is to the religious life or ordained priesthood.  Holy Orders is a sacrament that gives bishops, priests, and deacons the authority and responsibility of ministerial priesthood. Ordination sets individuals apart for priesthood in the Church to meet the spiritual needs of believers.

The Church carries out the mission given by Christ to his apostles forever through the sacrament of Holy Orders.   This is a sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate (bishop), presbyterate (priest), and diaconate (deacon). Photo is of the anointing of Deacon Father jeff at Daylesford Abbey

Anointing of the Sick (Last Rites or Extreme Unction).  This sacrament offers spiritual comfort. A priest anoints the recipient with the special Oil of the Sick and prays for their physical and spiritual well-being. The sacrament has three distinct parts: the prayer of faith, the laying-on of hands, and the anointing with the Oil of the Sick.

Some parishes hold a Healing Mass. People are anointed as they come forward. They do not need to wait until they are at the point of death to receive the Sacrament.

In the Anointing of the Sick, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. Even if there is no physical healing, the Sacrament brings spiritual healing. It gives peace and courage to the sick person, helping them cope with the challenges of serious illness or old age.

Sacraments play a significant role in the spiritual life of Catholics. Sacraments are regarded as channels of divine grace. They strengthen believers in their faith journey and foster their relationship with God and the Church.