What are the Sacraments?

The Sacraments are “actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church.  They are the ‘masterworks of God’ in the new and everlasting covenant” (Catechism 1116).  “The purpose of the Sacraments,” wrote the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, “is to sanctify human beings, to build up the Body of Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God…. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it.”  In the Catholic Church there are seven sacraments:  Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance (or Reconciliation), Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

 

 

What is Baptism?

Holy 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, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission:  Baptism is a sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”  (Catechism 1213)  Through baptism, we become part of the royal, priestly people of God, called to holy lives of prayer and service.