Let’s review the Seven Sacraments, and how we celebrate these sacred gifts from God through his Church.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship in the family of God, his Catholic Church. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church’s way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God.
Before ascending into heaven, Jesus tells his faithful Apostles, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” The Gospel According to Matthew, Mt 28:18-20
This sacrament must be celebrated with water with the words that Jesus gives, and can be administered by lay people in case of emergencies by stating with the intent of the above, “I baptize you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” while water is poured over the person’s head. This sacrament cleanses the soul of Origianl Sin of our first parents and any personal sins. The Holy Spirit enters the soul and gives sanctifying grace to the soul, implanting the spiritual seeds of divine faith, hope and love.
The Holy Eucharist
Catholics believe the Eucharist, or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ’s Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it we find God’s unconditional forgiveness; as a result we are called to forgive others.
The Sacrament of Confirmation
Confirmation is a Catholic Sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation for Catholics. It is most often associated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Sacrament of Christian Marriage
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders
In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and Dying
The Catholic Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness.