The Seven Sacraments

Seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Confession, Annointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, Marriage 
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The Seven Sacraments:

  1. Baptism
  2. Confirmation
  3. Eucharist
  4. Reconciliation
  5. Anointing of the Sick
  6. Holy Orders
  7. Marriage

The Seven Sacraments

Baptism, described in more detail here, may be received by any person who is not yet baptized (adult, or infant). By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte "a new creature," an adopted son of God, who has become a "partaker of the divine nature," member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit. The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon. In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize, by using the Trinitarian (aka In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit) baptismal formula. The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. However, those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity. As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God. [See Matthew 3:16-18, Matthew 28-30, Acts 2:38-39,Acts 8:16, Acts 16:32-33, Exodus 14:21-31, Genesis Chapters 7-8, & Leviticus Chapter 12.

Confirmation (also called Chrismation) is described in more detail here. Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. The reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. Traditionally, Confirmation is received along with Baptism and the Eucharist. In recent centuries, Latin custom has indicated "the age of discretion" as the reference point for receiving Confirmation. But in danger of death children should be confirmed even if they have not yet attained the age of discretion. The ordinary minister of Confirmation is the Bishop. [See Leviticus Chapter 12, Acts 8:17, & 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

The Holy Eucharist, described in more detail here, is the source and summit of Christian life. 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." According to the Council of Trent, "That infants and children not yet come to the use of reason may not only validly but even fruitfully receive the Blessed Eucharist is now the universally received opinion." The Eastern Churches maintain a lively awareness of the unity of Christian initiation by giving Holy Communion to all the newly baptized and confirmed, even little children, recalling the Lord's words: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them." The Latin Church reserves admission to Holy Communion to those who have attained the age of reason, as the Council of Trent says that "this sacrament [Eucharist] is [not] necessary for their[those not yet attaining the age of reason] salvation." [See John 6:32-71, Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:15-20, Acts 2:42, Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, & 1 Corinthians 11:23-29]  [See also ECCLESIA DE EUCHARISTIA and also DIES DOMINI]

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, described in more detail here, it a liturgical action. After Baptism, "individual confession and absolution remain the only ordinary way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God and the Church, unless physical or moral impossibility excuses from this kind of confession.  Reconciliation, also called Confession, is the only normal means for mortal sins to be forgiven.  Futher,it must be absolutely prevented that individual confession should be reserved for serious sins only, for this would deprive the faithful of the great benefit of confession and would injure the good name of those who approach the sacrament singly. [See John 20:22-23, Matthew 16:19, Luke 5:20-25, & Matthew 9:1-8] [See also Paenitemini]

Anointing of the Sick, described in more detail here, --like Confession and the Eucharist, may be received multiple times. The Anointing of the Sick "is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived." Only priests (bishops and presbyters) are ministers of the Anointing of the Sick. Like all the sacraments the Anointing of the Sick is a liturgical and communal celebration, whether it takes place in the family home, a hospital or church, for a single sick person or a whole group of sick persons. It is very fitting to celebrate it within the Eucharist, the memorial of the Lord's Passover. If circumstances suggest it, the celebration of the sacrament can be preceded by the sacrament of Penance and followed by the sacrament of the Eucharist. As the sacrament of Christ's Passover the Eucharist should always be the last sacrament of the earthly journey, the "viaticum" for "passing over" to eternal life. As noted above, in danger of death, a person should recieve Baptism (or confession if already baptized), confirmation (if not confirmed), anointing of the sick, and finally the Eucharist. In some cases, a person with an invalid marriage should have the marriage validated.  [See also Encyclical from Pope Paul VI and see SALVIFICI DOLORIS]

Holy Orders, described in more detail here, are what is given to make a man a deacon, priest, or bishop. Any baptized male can recieve any holy order. Modern Custom in the Eastern Rites is to only ordain as bishops unmarried men. Modern Custom in the Latin Rites is to typically only ordain unmarried men as priest or bishops. In some cases exceptions are made. Once ordained, both the Eastern and Western practice is to forbid marriage.  [See also SACERDOTALIS CAELIBATUS and see Inter Insigniores and see SACRAMENTUM ORDINIS]

The Sacrament of Marriage, described in more detail here, can only be between a baptized male and a baptized female, however, the Church sometimes allows a non-sacramental marriage between a Catholic and a non-Christian for pastoral reasons. The Sacrament is ordinarily celibrated between two baptized Catholics. If a Catholic wishes, the Catholic may request special permission from their bishop to marry a baptized non-Catholic. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament." [See also ARCANUM, FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO, CASTI CONNUBIIQUAS VESTRO, and SUMMO IUGITER STUDIO