The Seven Sacraments
Baptism is the first sacrament of Christian initiation which is necessary before one can receive any other sacrament. Baptism was initiated by Christ when he was baptized by St. John the Baptist and when he commanded his apostles to go and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Baptism removes original sin and makes us children of God, members of Christ, members of the Church, and heirs to the kingdom of heaven.
The sacrament of Penance, also known as Reconciliation or Confession, is one of two sacraments which heals and saves the baptized person from sin committed after Baptism. This sacrament is for all members of the Church, however one must ask for forgiveness. The sinner must have a sorrow for his or her sins, must confess them to a priest, and must do satisfaction for the sins.
Holy Eucharist (First Communion)
The Holy Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion and Breaking of the Bread, is the third sacrament of initiation. Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. The essential rite of the Eucharist is the consecration of the unleavened bread and wine which is accomplished by the Priest. We believe Jesus is really present in the Eucharist and that the changing of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is known as transubstantiation.
Confirmation is the second sacrament of initiation and is associated with the other two sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism and Holy Eucharist. The sacrament of Confirmation was instituted by Christ when he conferred the Holy Spirit on his apostles on Easter Sunday. We believe Confirmation imprints an indelible character on the soul of the recipient and can received only once. The preparation for Confirmation aims at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a greater familiarity with the Holy Spirit.
Holy Orders was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper in which the grace of the sacrament imprints an indelible character on the soul of the recipient and configures him to Christ. Only baptized men may receive the sacrament of Orders. The sacrament can only be received once in each of its degrees: deacon, priest, and bishop.
Matrimony was instituted by Christ at the wedding feast of Cana. Through his preaching, He taught that the union of a man and woman in marriage should be permanent until death. Unlike any of the other sacraments, marriage was established by God in his creation of man. The sacrament of Matrimony establishes an indissoluble bond between a man and a woman. This bond is permanent, faithful, and open to new human life. Any couple, one man and one woman, who are baptized and are free to marry may receive this sacrament.
Anointing of the Sick
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is the continuation of the Lord's compassion for the sick. Christ identified with the sufferings of the sick that he made their sufferings his own. This sacrament confers grace which strengthens the sick person with courage and peace to endure whatever sufferings are caused by disease or old age. It forgives all sins for which the sick person has true sorrow but was unable to confess and prepares the sick person for the transition to eternal life.