The liturgical life of the Catholic Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.
The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.
Baptism is the sacrament that gives our souls the new life of sanctifying grace by which we become children of God and heirs of heaven.
Baptism takes away original sin; and also actual sin and all the punishment due to them, if the person baptized be guilty of any actual sins and truly sorry for them
Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.
Confirmation is the Sacrament through which the Holy Spirit comes to us in a special way and enables us to profess our faith as strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ
Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed."
The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.(CCC 1325)
The Eucharist is a participation in the sacrifice of Christe
Jesus offered Himself on Calvary in generous, unselfish love in the midst of evil – giving and not counting the cost. In each celebration of the Eucharist, Christ allows us to experience the life flowing from the one sacrifice of Calvary.
We, the baptized, through the sacrament sacrifice of the Mass, are joined to the one sacrifice of Jesus, and are invited to live daily in the generous self-giving spirit of the Lord whom we receive in Holy Communion.
The Eucharist is an act of thanksgiving”
“Eucharist” means “thanksgiving”, and in the celebration of each Eucharist we express to God our duty of thanks for all that He has given us, and especially the new life we have received through Jesus. We join in the great prayer of thanks that Jesus has given to His disciples
The sacrament of the reconciliation and the sacrament of anointing of the sick are know as the sacraments of healing. The sacrament of reconciliation, also called the sacrament of penance or simply confession, is a way for Catholic to receive forgivness for their post-baptismal sins.
Sacrament of penance is the sign of three things: past, present and future.
1. It is a sign of the Passion of Christ and of His Precious Blood, which is the medicine He uses to heal our souls.
2. It is a sign of the healing action of Christ on the soul through the absolution of the priest.
3. It is a sign of the spiritual health which this sacrament gives.
The priest has the power to forgive sins from Jesus Christ, who said to His apostles and to their successors in the priesthood: "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.
Only God can forgive sins. But He can decide for Himself how He wants to do it. And the way He has decided upon is to use priests as His instruments. We can truly say that Christ forgives sins, using the lips and hands of the priest, or we can say that the priest forgives sins by the power Christ gives him.
When you go to confession, you receive a penance, which is usually a series of prayers or action to help make up for the things done wrong and to re-establish habits befitting a disciple of Christ.
The Church offers the second sacrament of healing, anointing of the sick, as a way to bring spiritual comfort and strength to those who have attained the "use of reason" and are in danger due to sickness or old age. This is not a sacrament restricted only to the dying, and it is not a sacrament that can be received only once. Anoiting of the sick is designed to shore up those are losing spiritual and phisical strength.
Anointing of the sick, which can be received more than once, provides forgivness of sins, and, when received at the end of life with reconciliation and Eucharist, prepares a catholic for journey to the Father.
Only priests and bishops can be ministers of anointing of the sick, which can be administered in a church, a hospital, or a family home, for one person or a group of people.
Holy Orders is the sacrament by which bishops, priests and deacons are ordained and receive the power and grace to perform their sacred duties. The sacred rite by which orders are conferred is called ordination. The apostles were ordained by Jesus at the Last Supper so that others could share in his priesthood.
The Church has a rich tradition in its teaching on sacramental marriage and covenantal union. The Old Testament authors write of God making a covenant with the chosen people and promising them that they will never be forsaken. The New Testament authors write of Jesus as the new covenant and compare the relationship of Jesus with the Church to the relationship of a husband and wife. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership for the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.