Sacraments

 1097    In the liturgy of the New Covenant every liturgical action, especially the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments, is an encounter between Christ and the Church.

Sacraments

 

We recognize that the Sacraments have a visible and invisible reality, a reality open to all the human senses but grasped in its God-given depths with the eyes of faith.

When parents hug their children, for example, the visible reality we see is the hug. The invisible reality the hug conveys is love. We cannot “see” the love the hug expresses, though sometimes we can see its nurturing effect in the child.

The visible reality we see in the Sacraments is their outward expression, the form they take, and the way in which they are administered and received.

The invisible reality we cannot “see” is God’s grace, his gracious initiative in redeeming us through the death and Resurrection of his Son. His initiative is called grace because it is the free and loving gift by which he offers people a share in his life, and shows us his favor and will for our salvation. Our response to the grace of God’s initiative is itself a grace or gift from God by which we can imitate Christ in our daily lives.

The saving words and deeds of Jesus Christ are the foundation of what he would communicate in the Sacraments through the ministers of the Church. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church recognizes the existence of Seven Sacraments instituted by the Lord. They are the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist), the Sacraments of Healing (Reconciliation-Penance and the Anointing of the Sick), and the Sacraments at the Service of Communion (Marriage and Holy Orders). Through the Sacraments, God shares his holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier.

Sacraments of Initiation

  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Eucharist 

Sacraments of Healing

  • Reconciliation
  • Anointing of the Sick

At the Service of Communion

  • Holy Order
  • Matrimony1123 The purpose of the sacraments is to Sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God.

    The Seven Sacraments continue the saving work of Jesus until he comes again and form the center of the celebration of the Christian mystery. Through the ministry of the Church, all are invited to hear the Good News, follow Christ and share in these saving mysteries: mysteries that symbolize, make possible, realize and nurture the grace of the sacraments in the baptized.

 

  • Participation in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, is not simply an option; rather, it is foundational to sustain the faithful in union with the very life of the Trinity and to strengthen them for the rigors of living their faith as committed disciples.