What is a Sacrament?

What is a Sacrament?

The seven sacraments are a very important part of our Catholic faith. But, what exactly is a sacrament? And why are they so important in our spiritual journey?

First let’s look at what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about the sacraments:

“Christ now acts through the sacraments he instituted to communicate his grace. The sacraments are perceptible signs (words and actions) accessible to our human nature. By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace that they signify.” (1084)

“Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify. They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies.” (1127)

We believe Jesus himself gave us each of the sacraments and each one flows from his life and ministry. Through each sacrament we are given the grace of God and drawn closer to him. Each sacrament is a visible sign of God’s unconditional love for us. A visible sign where God comes to us, enters into our life and brings us closer to him through his grace.

The seven sacraments can be broken down into the Sacraments of Initiation, Sacraments of Healing, and Sacraments of Christian Vocation.

Sacraments of Initiation

  • Baptism
    Our sins are washed away, and this is the beginning of our membership in the life of the church.

  • Confirmation
    We are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

  • Eucharist
    We celebrate the Lord’s Supper and remember God’s love through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Sacraments of Healing

  • Reconciliation
    Also known as confession or penance, through reconciliation God forgives us for our sins.

  • Anointing of the Sick
    Christ heals us and raises us up from our infirmities.

Sacraments of Christian Vocation

  • Marriage

  • Holy Orders

These Sacraments of Christian Vocation are sacraments where God has called each of us to a particular state of life.

All of the sacraments will be explored in more detail in upcoming articles.

Peace in Christ,
Melissa Knoblett-Aman

Catechisms and Catechism Guides

You Should Also Read:
Eucharist - The Real Presence
Catholic Christianity FAQs

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