Sacraments

Sacraments of the Church

What is a sacrament?

A sacrament is an exterior sign that signifies interior reality/grace.

Imagine a situation where we have an expectant mother. In this situation, we can only see an external sign from that mother that will show the interior reality. Here, the sign is the stomach pointing toward the reality of a baby in the womb that we cannot see. Therefore, a sacrament is a sign with which we can only see the external sign to signify the inner reality; for instance, Eucharist, the sign of Bread points towards the inner reality of the Body whereas the Wine is a sign to signify the Blood.

Baptism has the External signs of water, catechumenate oil, Candle, White garment > The signs point towards the inner purity that we receive.

The inner reality/grace can only be seen with the eyes of faith. Therefore, one can acquire the graces from a particular sacrament, with full submission to Faith. (We Believe the Bible as the Word of God because of Faith). Faith plays a major role when it comes to matters of God.

Briefly, How the Holy Mass Developed

Essential Elements at the Sanctuary

Categories and Groups of the Seven Sacraments

Infant Baptism

Baptism

Grace from the sacrament

  1. Sacramental grace
  2. Sanctifying grace

Over the past 2017 years, the Church has maintained the Seven Signs, which we call the Sacraments since they were instituted by Christ Himself. They are our means of making us Holy and therefore, they form part of the Means of our salvation.

The Universal Church (i.e the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Catholics), lists the Seven Sacraments in the following order.

The Seven Sacraments

  1. Baptism
  2. Confirmation
  3. Eucharist
  4. Penance
  5. Anointing of the sick
  6. Holy Orders
  7. Matrimony

These sacraments are to be received in this order, but in other occasions, they may be received separately, for instance, an Infant in the Roman Catholic Church (Western Church) will only get Baptism, but an Infant in the Eastern Catholic churches and the Greek Orthodox Tradition, will receive all the initiation sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.

The Roman Catholic also separate Confirmation from the other two sacraments temporarily because the sacrament itself is preserved for the Bishop of the Diocese.  Temporarily could also be up to the second coming of Christ, because we are also temporal in this world.

The pre-eminence of the Eucharist features in all liturgical celebrations of the Sacraments.

Briefly, How the Holy Mass Developed

Essential Elements at the Sanctuary

Categories and Groups of the Seven Sacraments

Infant Baptism

Baptism

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11 thoughts on “Sacraments”

  1. I thought the order is
    1. Baptism
    2. Penance
    3. Eucharist
    4. Confirmation
    5. Anointing of the sick
    6. Holy Orders
    7. Matrimony

    Where 5 can come at any rank in the order and 6 & 7 is either or…..

    1. That is very true, but the universal order is the list as above, because like in the Eastern Catholics, Infants receive the Eucharist and Communion, but cant get the Penance.
      The order of Baptism, Confirmation Eucharist remains because it has been organised according to the general culture.
      For instance, when a mother gives birth, the first thing that is usually done is to clean the child (Baptism), then confirm the child if it is fine/boy/girl/name (Confirmation and then breastfeeding comes later (Eucharist)
      But in the Roman Catholic, Confirmation becomes number three because it is meant to be given by the Bishop.

      So, that is just the Universal order, the rest is done because of various pastoral reasons.

    1. Sacramental grace – the graces from a particular sacrament, e.g Penance has the grace of forgiveness
      Sanctifying grace – to make holy. All the Sacraments make us Holy.

      Sacrament grace is only in each of the Sacraments but Sanctifying grace is in all the Sacraments.

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