Baptism is the gateway to the other sacraments. It is a sacrament of initiation, as are Confirmation and Holy Communion. To be a Christian you must be baptized. By being baptized you bear the name of Christ. You have a new identity, you become a member of the Christian community, and part of the Body of Christ.
The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the second sacrament of initiation in the Catholic Church, and it is the one sacrament of initiation that we can receive more than once. In this sacrament, we receive the Body and Blood of Christ under the forms of bread and wine. Through this sacrament, God gives us His grace, and forms us more closely into the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church.
The Sacrament of Confirmation completes our initiation into the Church, making us full members of the Church. This special, “once-in-a-lifetime” sacrament is meant to deepen our relationship with Christ and his Church and to celebrate the presence and action of the Holy Spirit within us and within the Church.
As Christians, the sacrament of marriage is the oath of loyalty unto death the bride and groom make to each other and – as a couple – their oath of loyalty unto death to our Lord Jesus Christ, “the King of kings and Lord of lords.” Christian marriage is intended to be a sign of God’s presence and love in this fallen and broken world.
In the past, this sacrament was often kept strictly for those close to death. In more recent years the Church has encouraged greater use of this sacrament for illness which is not necessarily life- threatening. As with all the sacraments, this anointing has significance for the whole Church. It reminds us of our call to wholeness and our call to be a sign of salvation to the world. Wherever there is brokenness, we are to be instruments of Christ's healing touch.
Reconciliation / Sacramental Forgiveness
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and renews us in Christ.