What is a sacrament?
A sacrament is an act of God by which Christ establishes or enriches a personal and effective relationship with human beings. God reaches out to draw us all deeper and deeper into the mystery of His undying love and fashions us into vehicles and living reminders of this grace. The Church understands this to be particularly so in seven sacramental instances of human living on our journey to God’s kingdom.
Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ and his Church.
Sin is before all else an offense against God and also damages our communion with the Church. God's forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church is accomplished liturgically through the sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life. At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. Eucharist is a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity. The mystery of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is a constant reminder of God’s love for us, as Jesus humbly offers his flesh and blood – under the appearance of bread and wine – as food for our journey through life.
The reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is the completion of baptismal grace. Those confirmed are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with the special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the good of family; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit who renews trust and faith in God. This assistance from the Lord by the power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God's will.
This is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate (bishop), presbyterate (priest) and diaconate (deacon).