The Catholic Church teaches that these are “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.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1131) There are seven sacraments that “touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith.” (CCC 1210)
Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist
Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the Sacraments that establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism, are strengthened by Confirmation, and are then nourished along the journey of life by the Eucharist.
Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick
Christian life also experiences the fullness of human life. The new life received in Baptism has not eliminated the frailty and weakness of human nature: illness and sin. The Sacraments of Healing are provided to renew and restore.
Sacraments at the Service: Marriage and Holy Orders
The Sacraments of Initiation are the ground of everyone’s vocation in life. “Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God” (CCC 1534)