Sacraments

Sacraments are defined as outward signs of inward blessings. Sacraments can also be thought of as blessings that are received during an important ceremony, and they are sometimes referred to as ‘rites of passage’. 

Most Protestant Christians have two sacraments. These are baptism and the Eucharist. This is because the 39 Articles state that baptism and the Eucharist are the only two sacraments authorised by God.

In the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, all seven sacraments are vital parts of being Christian. Each sacrament is seen as contributing to the life journey of a Christian. The sacraments also create several opportunities to receive blessings from God.

The sacraments are rituals that teach, strengthen and express faith. They are relevant to all areas and stages of life, and Catholics believe that the love and gifts of God are given through seven sacraments, which are:

  • Baptism
  • Eucharist
  • Confirmation
  • Reconciliation
  • Anointing of the sick
  • Marriage
  • Holy orders

The seven sacraments touch all stages and all important moments of Christian life.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1210

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SacramentWhat is it?What does it mean?

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