Sacraments

There are seven Catholic Sacraments: Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy orders and Anointing of the Sick.  The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God’s saving presence.

Baptism: For Catholics, the sacrament of baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship.  Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, baptism is the church’s way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God.

Reconciliation (Confession): The sacrament of reconciliation has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration.  In it, we find God’s unconditional forgiveness and as a result we are called to forgive others.

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.

Confirmation: Confirmation is a sacrament of mature christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. Like baptism and Eucharist, it is a sacrament of Initiation for Catholics and a sacrament of faith in God’s fidelity to us.

Marriage: The sacrament of Marriage is a public sign of giving oneself totally to another 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.

Holy Orders: In the sacrament of Holy orders, or ordination, the person 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. Both priests and deacons experience different forms of orders in their call to ministry.

Anointing of the Sick: The sacrament of anointing of the sick is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical, but also for mental and spiritual sickness. This healing sacrament is celebrated at home, in a hospital or at the church. It is a sacrament that strengthens a person to live their baptismal promises in view of the unique challenges of sickness.