Sacraments

Baptism

Reconciliation

First Communion

Confirmation

Marriage

Holy Orders

Anointing of the Sick

 

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

 

  • A visible sign
    An action is performed by a minister (usually a priest).
    For example, when a baby is baptized in the church the priest pours
    water over its head and at the same time says the words "I baptize
    you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
    That is a visible sign.  
  • Instituted by Christ
    The Lord Jesus Christ instructed His church to offer the seven
    sacraments to His followers. For example, His directive to His
    disciples in Matthew's Gospel (28/19), "Go then, to all peoples
    everywhere and make them my disciples; baptize them in the name
    of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey
    everything I have commanded you."
     
  • To give grace 
    Grace is God's free gift of Himself as the controlling influence in
    our life and the decisions we make once we have committed ourselves
    to Him in faith.

In summary, a sacrament is one of the means God has chosen to influence our life in the direction of his purpose for giving us life.

The seven sacraments are Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.