The Sacraments: Introduction

Posted on March 6, 2023 by Published by

In our Baptism Preparation class, we will often ask if the collective group can name all 7 sacraments in the Catholic Church.  Typically, it’s fairly easy to come up with 6, but the last one usually stumps our young parents (Holy Orders!).  Our sacraments are important components of our faith journey and our quest for eternal life.  Over the next 7 weeks I will review each of the 7 sacraments in more detail along with answers to questions that are frequently asked about each of those sacraments.  To kick things off, I will start with a general overview.

What is a sacrament?  Why are they important to us?

Jesus touches our lives through the sacraments. Our celebrations of the sacraments are signs of Jesus’ presence in our lives and a means for receiving His grace. As Catholics, we are made for something much greater than what society would tell us – we are made for eternal life in Heaven.  Yet we are called to begin our journey now – on this earth and in our daily lives.  We are called to wake up every day and do everything we can to fuel our love for God and live out His plan for our lives.  Our success in doing this is only possible with the gift of God’s divine grace – and it’s through our sacraments that we receive this grace.  God’s graces empower us to live out our faith and our quest for eternal life.

The Church celebrates seven sacraments, which are divided into three categories:

Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, First Communion & Confirmation

  • These sacraments lay the foundation for our Christian life

Sacraments of Healing – Reconciliation & Anointing of the Sick

  • These sacraments celebrate the healing power of Jesus

Sacraments of Service – Marriage and Holy Orders

  • These sacraments celebrate our vocation(s)

One way to think about sacraments is to think of them as “channels” through which God gives us particular graces at specific points in our lives.  To live a Christ centered life and follow God’s will is not easy, for sure.  But God is giving us the graces – the tools – we need to succeed exactly when we need them….how wonderful is that!

This is the first installment in a series of articles about the Seven Sacraments, contributed by Deacon Peter LeTourneau, Director of Parish Ministry and Evangelization at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish. 

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