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The Essentials of Catholic Sacraments

Receiving a sacrament in the Catholic Church is an opportunity for the faithful to receive the gift of God’s grace. Any Catholic can, and is often required or strongly encouraged, to receive certain sacraments — Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, and Holy Communion. Only Catholic men can be ordained priests and receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and if you receive that sacrament, you cannot receive the Sacrament of Matrimony.

The Catholic Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism is the one sacrament that all Christian denominations share in common. In the Catholic Church, infants are baptized to welcome them into the Catholic faith and to free them from the original sin [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Holy Communion

Of all seven sacraments, the Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the most central and important to Catholicism. Holy Communion is offered at every Mass, and in fact, the ritual of the Mass is largely [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Confirmation

Just as bodies and minds grow, Catholics believe that the soul also needs to grow in the life of grace. The sacrament of Confirmation builds on the sacraments of Baptism, Penance, and Holy Communion, completing [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony

The Catholic Church distinguishes between a legal marriage and the Sacrament of Matrimony. The Sacrament of Matrimony involves two baptized people, one or both of whom are Catholic, becoming husband and [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Holy Orders

Catholic men who "take Holy Orders" receive a special sacrament called Holy Orders, which creates the hierarchy of deacon, priest, and bishop. These men [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

The Catholic Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick used to be called Extreme Unction (last anointing), not because it was the last sacrament a Catholic received before checking out of this life but because [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Penance

Catholics believe that the Church heals in the Sacrament of Penance. The Sacrament of Penance (or Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession) is for spiritual healing. Catholics believe Jesus left the Sacrament [more…]

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