Pillar II

The Seven Sacraments
Rogier van der Weyden, 1445

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the sacraments as "efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us" (CCC 1131). Through signs that are recognizable to our senses, the sacraments present to us the most extraordinary divine realities. see #250

Sacraments of Christian initiation see #251

In Baptism we are welcomed into the family of God. We are united to Christ and His Church. We become adopted children of God. We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Original sin and all personal sins are forgiven. see #252-264

Confirmation is usaually the final sacrament of Christian initiation. In it, the Holy Spirit gives us power to live out our faith more fully and maturely. see #265-270

Holy Communion
The Eucharist is truly the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. It is not a mere symbol, but the Real Presence of God. It is the "source and summit of the Christian life" (CCC 1324)see #271-294

Sacraments of Healing see #295

Also known as Penance, this is the sacrament by which our sins committed after Baptism are forgiven. It is a precept of the Church to receive this sacrament at least once per year. Those with mortal sins must receive this sacrament. see #296-312

Anointing of the Sick
When we are seriously ill, in danger of death, or very weak due to old age, we receive this sacrament to strengthen our faith and trust in God. see 313-320

Sacraments at the Service of Communion see #321

Holy Orders
This sacrament is received by baptized men so that they may serve the Church as a bishop, priest, or deacon. see #322-336

A man and a woman are united together in a lifelong bond when receiving this sacrament. They are vowed to each other in love, and are open to the gift of children. see #337-350


Links above are from the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic ChurchVatican.va. For a more thorough exploration of the Sacraments, consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church. For an explanation which may be more engaging to youth and young adults, consider purchasing a copy of the YOUCAT (Youth Catechism).