The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.
Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven:
The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission the Christian’s life of faith.
The sacraments accompany us in the most crucial moments of our life:
- Sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist – lay the foundations of every Christian life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life.
- In the sacraments of healing – Penance and Anointing of the Sick – the Church continues the work of healing and salvation among its own members, initiated by Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies.
- The sacraments at the service of communion – Holy Orders and Matrimony – are directed towards the salvation of others. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.