I believe the seven sacraments truly hold in place the…great events of human life. For these important moments, for birth and death, for growing up and marrying, we need some kind of sign, to give to this moment its full stature, its true promise, and also the dimension of being shared together.
Faith is not something that exists in a vacuum; rather, it enters into the material world. And it is through signs in the material that we are brought into contact with God. God became flesh and shares Himself with us in earthly things. The sacraments are thus a kind of contact with God himself. They show that this faith is not a purely spiritual thing. The corporal dimension of faith expresses itself in the sacraments.
Pope Benedict XVI
Seven Sacraments of The Church
What is a Sacrament?
An efficacious sign 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 invisible grace of each Sacrament.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1131
Why are the Sacraments Necessary?
For believers, the Sacraments are necessary for salvation and for growth in holiness. They 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, 1129, 1210
Why is Baptism Necessary?
Through His words and by His own Baptism, Jesus Himself affirmed that Baptism is necessary for salvation. It is necessary for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this Sacrament.
How are the Sacraments Divided?
1. Sacraments of Christian Initiation
Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist
These three Sacraments lay the foundations of every Christian life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life.
2. Sacraments of Healing
Penance and Annointing of the Sick
The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that His Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation.
3. Sacraments at the Service of Communion
Holy Orders and Matrimony
They are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to builf up the People of God.
Penance (or Confession)
Anointing of the Sick