The seven sacraments are rites of the Church that we take part in during our Journey of faith. Each sacrament is another piece of that journey, strengthening our connection and commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ. With each sacrament, we are further enriched with the grace and wisdom of God, and we further confirm our faith in Him.
The first of all sacraments is the one we celebrate at birth - baptism.
Since we can't decide to join the Catholic Church ourselves when we are born, our parents make this choice for us. The rite of baptism cleanses us from original sin, allowing us to be reborn as children of God. Baptism is an outward symbol of our rejection of sin and our new birth in the Holy Spirit.
The sacrament of Reconciliation deals with the reality of sin, and also with God's grace and love in forgiving us.
No matter how hard we try, each and every one of us will commit sins by turning away from the words of Jesus. The act of sin, while a personal decision, does not just affect ourselves - it affects our relationships with others and with the Church. Through Reconciliation, we repent, confess our sins to a priest, and mend our relationships with God and the community. We are reminded of God's grace and discover His love again.
The Eucharist is also know as Holy Communion, we accept the body and blood of Christ.
This sacrament is symbolic of our internalizing the words of Jesus into our hearts and minds. As we partake in this sacrament of Christ's real presence, we are spiritually nourished and strengthened. Holy Communion reminds us of Jesus and the Last Supper, when He said to His disciples, " Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day" (John 6:54). Through this meal Christ shares Himself with us, and we are also united with our fellow believers as we experience the sacrament together.
At baptism, our parents choose for us to join the Church, but when we are older, we need to make that choice ourselves.
Through the sacrament of Confirmation, we openly affirm our own commitment to the teachings of Christ. At Confirmation, the gifts we received from the Holy Spirit at baptism are increased; our relationship with Jesus is strengthened; our bond with the Church is deepened.
The sacrament of Marriage is a covenant of love and faithfulness between a man and a woman united in Christ.
Marriage reflects the relationship between Christ, the bridegroom, and the Church, His bride. The covenant between a married couple is a sacred one, and it includes the commitment to raise their children in the teachings of Christ, if God blesses them with a family. Like God, the married couple creates life when they join, and they love their children unconditionally as God loves all of us.
The Annointing of the Sick is a sacrament received during grave illness or at death.
When the recipient is annointed with oil - which is a sign of the Holy Spirit - he or she receives the blessings of the Spirit. This sacrament brings peace and fortitude at a time of suffering, reminding the recipient that Jesus too suffered, and just like Jesus, the sufferer will ascend into the eternal glory of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:6
We are all a part of the church community, and are all baptized into the common priesthood, but there are some who receive the calling to the ministerial priesthood.
The sacrament of Holy Orders allows men to be ordained as bishops, priests, or deacons. This is a holy vocation to continue Jesus' work. The difference between each of these vocations is the kind of work that is performed; each of these vocations deals with teaching the Word of God, worship, and ministering to God's people, but deacons do not lead Mass, while a priest can. Bishops are leaders of an entire diocese, not just one church.