What is a Sacrament?

The word “Sacrament” comes from the Latin Sacramentum which means “a sign of something sacred”. Sacraments are the way to receive God’s eternal grace, they are the means through which we become closer to God’s love and encounter His unending mercy and graces. Living a Sacramental life is an extraordinary gift and central to every Catholic’s calling. All the Sacraments are great sources of power that Christ provided to enable us to exercise holiness and avoid sin. By the sacraments, the Church professes Her faith, exercises a divine service and is constantly renewed. Through the sacraments Christ is with the Church till the end of time (Mt. 28:16-20).

The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the Sacraments. There are seven Sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1113).

“The purpose of the Sacraments is to sanctify humankind, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs, they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it. That is why they are called ‘Sacraments of faith.'”(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1123).