What are the Sacraments?

The seven Sacraments of the Church have their origin in Jesus Christ. There is a moment in Jesus’ life that we point to His institution of each Sacrament. They are outward signs: words, symbols, actions, images and music. The outward signs point God’s people to Divine Life. Through the external signs, they bring the grace of God to each of us. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

“The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.” – CCC 1131

There is a resemblance between the stages of our natural life and our supernatural sacramental life. The Sacraments correspond to important moments in Christian life: “they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith” – CCC 1210.