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Instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, each of the Sacraments grants grace to its recipient. Through them, divine life is dispensed to us as they nourish, strengthen and express our faith. The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1132-1134):
“The Church celebrates the sacraments as a priestly community structured by the baptismal priesthood and the priesthood of ordained ministers. The Holy Spirit prepares the faithful for the sacraments by the Word of God and the faith which welcomes that word in well-disposed hearts. Thus the sacraments strengthen faith and express it. The fruit of sacramental life is both personal and ecclesial. For every one of the faithful on the one hand, this fruit is life for God in Christ Jesus; for the Church, on the other, it is an increase in charity and in her mission of witness.”
There are seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony.
Sacraments of Christian Iinitiation
Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist are called the Sacraments of Christian Initiation. They lay the foundation of Christian life. The faithful are born again in Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive the food of eternal life in the Eucharist.
Sacraments of Healing
Penance and the Anointing of the Sick are Sacraments of Healing. Through Christian Initiation, we receive new life in Christ, but our earthly forms are still subject to suffering, illness and death. Through sin, our new life can be weakened or lost. The Lord Jesus Christ has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation through these Sacraments.
Sacraments of Service
Holy Orders and Matrimony celebrate the Christian vocation of service and consecrate us to minister within our own family and within the wider Church community, directing others to salvation. 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. Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders are consecrated in Christ's name "to feed the Church by the word and grace of God. On their part, "Christian spouses are fortified and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament.
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