Sacraments – An Overview

Sacraments are encounters with the Living God. They bring us closer to Jesus Christ who strengthens us on our pilgrim journey here on earth. The celebration of the Sacraments is at the heart of our parish life here at St. Matthias. Authentic discipleship happens through the preparation (catechesis) and celebration of these special gifts.

The Sacraments, instituted by Christ, touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life. The Sacraments form an organic whole in which each particular Sacrament has its own vital place with the Eucharist occupying a unique place as the “Sacraments of Sacraments.” (CCC or Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1210 – 121)

There are seven Sacraments and they can be grouped under three headings:

  • Sacraments of Christian Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist

CCC# 1212 The sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist – lay the foundations of every Christian life. “The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.” Click on the Sacrament to learn more.

  • Sacraments of Healing – Penance (Reconciliation/Confession) and Anointing of the Sick

CCC# 1420 Through the sacraments of Christian initiation, man receives the new life of Christ. Now we carry this life “in earthen vessels,” and it remains “hidden with Christ in God.” We are still in our “earthly tent,” subject to suffering, illness, and death. This new life as a child of God can be weakened and even lost by sin. Click on the Sacrament to learn more.

  • Sacraments of Service and Leadership – Holy Orders and Matrimony

CCC# 1421 The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two sacraments of healing the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. Click on the Sacrament to learn more.