The seven sacraments are baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, marriage and holy orders. They are divided into three categories: sacraments of initiation, sacraments of healing and sacraments of service.

The Catholic Sacraments

The traditional definition of a sacrament is this:


Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation. There are three distinct sacraments of initiation. The Church understands full initiation as Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.


Confirmation is not a sacrament of maturity; it is a sacrament of initiation. Those who seek to be confirmed are asking to deepen their relationship with Christ and the believing community


Sunday Eucharist (Mass) is the highlight of the entire Christian week. The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word meaning thanksgiving.


The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also known as Confession or Penance. This sacrament of healing is a celebration of being reconciled with God and the believing community.


The Church takes great joy in preparing couples to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage. For a Catholic the expectation is that the wedding celebration will be in the presence of the official Church witness: a Deacon, Priest or Bishop. People commonly refer to this as “getting married in the Church.”


In the sacrament of the anointing of the sick we encounter Jesus who heals and consoles us by giving us the Holy Spirit. We remember that the Risen Lord comes to strengthen us in body, mind and spirit during our time of illness.


Order is a true sacrament instituted by Christ who ordained the Apostles at the Last Supper. The effect of the sacrament of order is to impart the Holy Spirit and to impress an indelible character, which permanently distinguishes those in orders from the laity.