Sacraments are signs established by Christ that cause what they signify. They heal us from sin and plant, nourish or restore the life of grace in us. The sacraments are important because they make the power of the Paschal mystery of Jesus present to us for the sake of salvation.
By these seven channels of grace, God makes us his adopted children and increases his life of grace within us.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, The Seven Sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth to and increase healing and mission to the Christian’s life of Faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life’ (ccc. 1210).
The minister pours water over the head of the candidate saying, “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
The forgiveness of sins, the new life of grace and member-ship of the Church
The minister anoints a person’s forehead with chrism saying, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The sealing with the Holy Spirit for the mature Christian life
The priest consecrates bread and wine saying, “This is my body which will be given up for you …; this is the cup of my blood …”
The Real Presence; Sacrifice of Calvary re-presented; spiritual food
The penitent confesses sins with sorrow and repentance. The priest, acting in the person of Christ, gives absolution, “I absolve you from your sins...”
The forgiveness of sins and restoration of grace
The priest anoints the sick person’s forehead and hands with oil, praying the prescribed words.
The forgiveness of sins, spiritual strength and healing
The bishop lays hands on the candidate’s head and prays the prayer of consecration.
The ordination of a minister to act in the person of Christ
The spouses express their consent to one another following the prescribed canonical form, usually before a priest.
The union of the spouses as Christ is united to the Church