Sacraments are holy, visible signs instituted by Christ of an invisible reality, in which Christians can experience the healing, forgiving, nourishing, strengthening presence of God. Another way is to say that the sacraments are special encounters where we meet Jesus.
The Catholic church celebrates seven sacraments. The sacraments are gathered into 3 groups per their purpose. There are sacraments of initiation, which introduce us into the faith, there are sacraments of healing and there are sacraments of communion and mission.
Sacraments of Initiation:
Sacraments of Healing:
- Anointing of the Sick
Sacraments of Service:
- Holy Orders
Baptism joins us with Christ. Confirmation gives us the Spirit. The Eucharist unites us with him. Confession reconciles us with Christ. Through the Anointing of the Sick, Christ heals, strengthens, and consoles. In the sacrament of marriage, Christ promises his love in our love and his fidelity in our fidelity. Through the sacrament of Holy Orders, priests have the privilege of forgiving sins and celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation into the church and the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. It makes us children of God, temples of the Holy Spirit and members of the Church.
Confirmation completes the Christian initiation begun in Baptism, making us spiritually adult by means of a permanent ‘seal’ upon our souls. In this sacrament the Holy Spirit also gives us seven gifts that enables us to see and act well spiritually. These gifts empower us to publically proclaim the Gospel and to defend the faith against opposition.
The Eucharist is a sacrifice, a presence and a food. As a sacrifice it makes present Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary for our salvation. As a presence, it is Jesus Christ himself under the appearance of bread and wine. As a food, it is the nourishment of our souls by which we share in God’s own life.
Confession (or Penance or Reconciliation) is the sacrament by which we, repenting and confessing our sins, are absolved for sin through the ministry of a priest.
Sacrament of the Sick:
Anointing of the Sick is that sacrament by which sick persons, through anointing with oil and the prayer of the priest, receive grace for the salvation of their souls and possible bodily healing.
Holy Orders is the sacrament in which a baptised man receives the authority and ability to share in the particular mission that Christ entrusted to his apostles. There are three orders of this sacrament: bishop, priest and deacon.
Marriage is the sacrament in which a baptised man and woman vow to belong to each other in a permanent, exclusive, sexual partnership of loving mutual care, concern and shared responsibility, in the hope of having children and bringing up a family. God gives grace for the fulfilment of these duties.
For more detail and the parish information for a particular sacrament, please click on the information you require in the drop-down menu.