One of the incredible blessings of the Catholic Church was the institution of the Sacraments. These celebrations of God's grace are what draw us into even deeper union with our Lord and into the fullness of our faith community. What follows is a brief description of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
The first Sacrament of Initiation for Christians to be welcomed to the faith and the family of God. This is when the gift of the Holy Spirit is first conferred upon us.
Penance is a Sacrament of Healing, the opportunity for a repentant sinner to receive Christ's healing and absolution from all of their sins. The absolution can only be given through the priest who sits in the "person of Christ" while administering the Sacrament of Penance. Penance is also the term used to explain the task to be completed to show one's resolve to be a follower of Christ.
As Catholics the Eucharist is the true and full presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is more than just a sign or symbol of our unity with all Catholics, it is our living Lord who continually gives of Himself for our redemption so that we may come to know God's love. The Eucharist is the Sacrament we go to and come from, it is the apex of our faith, and it is the most perfect gift we can offer to God.
Confirmation is another Sacrament of Initiation that confirms the baptismal promises and seals the person with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are the three Sacraments of Initiation.
Anointing of the Sick
The other Sacrament of Healing in which the priest anoints the sick with the Oil for the Sick. It can be given for any need of healing, whether it be for body, spirit or mind. No longer is this sacrament given at the person's last moment of life. This sacrament is conferred by a priest and is an opportunity for us to pray for Christ's healing presence.
It is a sacrament conferred between a man and woman who become husband and wife, uniting them as one. This eternal bond is also the representation of the bond between Christ and His Church. This love or eternal bond is one that is ever growing and always open to life. This is the only sacrament in which the couple confers the sacrament to one another before God, the priest, and their community.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ's priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles; thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the Sacrament of Holy Orders as "the sacrament of apostolic ministry." There is only one Sacrament of Holy Orders, but there are three levels. The first is the episcopate or the Ordination of Bishops, the second is the priesthood and the third is the diaconate. The Sacrament of Holy Orders can only be received once for each level.