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The Seven Sacraments


Detail from "The Delivery of the Keys"
Pietro Perugino

The term sacrament is derived from the Latin sacramentum, meaning "a consecrated thing or act," i.e. "something holy"; '"to consecrate", which itself was a Church Latin translation of the Greek mysterion, meaning "mystery."

Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian's life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.

[…] the sacraments form an organic whole in which each particular sacrament has its own vital place. In this organic whole, the Eucharist occupies a unique place as the "Sacrament of sacraments": "all the other sacraments are ordered to it as to their end."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church 1210-1

The Seven Sacraments

Official Name - Alternative names

  1. Baptism
  2. Eucharist - Communion
  3. Marriage - Matrimony
  4. Holy Orders - Ordination
  5. Confirmation
  6. Reconciliation - Confession, Penance
  7. Annointing of the Sick - Sacrament of the Sick, sometimes incorrectly referred to as "Last Rites"