Overview of Sacraments

Sacrament Overview

A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. The Latin word sacramentum means "a sign of the sacred." The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Catholics. They are special occasions for experiencing God's saving presence. That's what theologians mean when they say that sacraments are at the same time signs and instruments of God's grace. The sacraments receive their power to give grace from God through the merits of Jesus Christ.

The seven sacraments are Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. The three sacraments of Christian Initiation are Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. The two sacraments of Healing are Penance and the Anointing of the Sick, and the two sacraments of Vocation are Holy Orders and Marriage. Three sacraments Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders are given once as they render a permanent seal or character upon one's soul.