Sunday, December 28, 2014

What are the Seven Sacriments

There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Faith, and there purpose is to make people Holy, to build up the body of Christ, and to give worship to God.

The firs three sacraments are the sacraments of initiation, or the primary sacraments for which the rest of our life as a Christian depends.

1.  Baptism: This is when we are cleansed of the original sins, receive the sanctifying grace (theological virtues), and enter into the Church. The receiving of the sanctifying grace prepares us to receive the other sacraments and to live our lives as good Christians, or to rise above cardinal virtues that can be practiced by anyone.

2.  Confirmation: It's the perfection of Baptism, and gives us the grace to live our life as a Christian. This is a process where the individual is educated in the way of the Church, and then graduates (becomes confirmed).

3.  Eucharist (Holy Communion): This is the only one of the sacraments of initiation that is received more than once, and may be received daily.  It is where we consume the Body of Christ in order to unite us with Him and to help us grow in our Faith.

The rest of the sacraments are as follows:

4.  Penance (Confession/ Reconciliation): It is when we ask for forgiveness for our sins, and receive absolution, or forgiveness for our sins. When we sin we deprive ourselves of God's grace, so it is important to acknowledge our sins and ask for forgiveness and absolution. Absolution allows grace to return to our souls so we can once again resist sin. It is one of the sacraments that may be received more than once, and should be received often.

5.  Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction, Last Rites): It is administered to the dying for the remission of sins and the provision of spiritual strength and health. It can be repeated as often as necessary.

6.  Matrimony: It is the union between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and mutual support, or love. Each spouse in a marriage gives up some rights over his or her life in exchange for rights over the life of the other spouse. Marriage is meant to be a lifelong union.

7.  Holy Orders (Ordination): This sacrament is a continuation of Christ's priesthood, which He bestowed upon his apostles.  It is when man is incorporated into into the priesthood of Christ at one of three levels:
  1. Episcopate: The office of Bishop, the first rank of holy orders 
  2. Presbyterate: The priesthood, the second rank of holy orders
  3. Diaconate: A ministry of mercy who reaches out and offers help to those in need.