Roman Catholics have 7 Sacraments. A “sacrament,” according to the Baltimore Catechism, is “an outward sign, institued by Christ, to give grace.” The Sacraments have the power of giving grace from the merits of Jesus Christ. Some of the Sacraments give sanctifying grace, and others increase it in our souls. Baptism and Reconciliation give sanctifying grace because they take aware the stain of sin on our souls. Holy Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick increase sanctifying grace because those who receive them worthily are already living the life of grace. The Sacraments always give grace, if we receive them with the right dispositions.
The 7 Sacraments:
Anointing of the Sick
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.