According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ‘The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us’ (#1131). In more basic terms, it is a rite that is performed to convey God’s grace to the recipient, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christ instituted all seven sacraments as ways in which He could be present to His people even after His Ascension into Heaven. The seven sacraments instituted by Christ are:
- Confirmation (chrismation)
- Holy Orders
- Anointing of the Sick
The sacraments dispense divine life. People who receive the sacraments actually share in the divine life of God. His presence enters into their souls, He helps them to live the Christian life, and He saves them so that they may reach eternal life. They are a gift from God, given through the Church as an outpouring of His love. He meets His people where they are in order to draw them up to Him, He pours out His grace, He builds up the Church and He receives worship.
These seven sacraments touch all the important stages and moments of life.