Sacraments

The Sacraments of the Catholic Church 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.”

While the Church itself is the universal sacrament of salvation, the sacraments of the Catholic Church in the strict sense are seven sacraments that touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life.

It is good to know that the sacraments produce grace.  Since grace is a gift of God, the sacrament must come from and depend upon God.  Sanctifying grace is given by reason of the rite itself, and grace is not given if the sacrament is not received with the necessary moral disposition.

It is also necessary that both matter and form are present with each sacrament; the matter is the material used (e.g. water for Baptism), and the form is the accompanying words and actions by the minister of the sacrament.

The minister is someone authorized to give the sacrament with the intention of doing what the Church intends.

The seven sacraments are: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. (8:10)