Sacraments

Baptism

The Roman Catholic Church sees baptism as the first and basic sacrament of Christian.  In the Western or Latin Church, baptism is usually conferred today by pouring water three times on the recipient's head, while reciting the baptismal formula: "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

Communion

The Eucharist, also called the Blessed Sacrament, is the sacrament by which Catholics partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and participate in his one sacrifice. The first of these two aspects of the sacrament is also called Holy Communion.

Confirmation

Confirmation is the second sacrament of Christian initiation.  It is called Confirmation because it confirms and strengthens baptismal grace."  It is conferred by "the anointing with Sacred Chrism (oil mixed with balsam and consecrated by the bishop), which is done by the laying on of the hand of the minister who pronounces the sacramental words proper to the rite.

Matrimony

Matrimony, or Marriage, is seen as a sign of the love uniting Christ and the Church, establishes between the spouses a permanent and exclusive bond, sealed by God. Accordingly, a marriage between baptized people, validly entered into and consummated, cannot be dissolved. The sacrament confers on them the grace they need for attaining holiness in their married life and for responsible acceptance and upbringing of their children.

Confessions

The sacrament involves four elements:

  1. Contrition (the penitent's sincere remorse for wrongdoing or sin, repentance, without which the rite has no effect);

  2. Confession to a priest who has the faculty to hear confessions.  Only a priest has the power to administer the sacrament;

  3. Absolution by the priest; and,

  4. Satisfaction or penance.

Anointing the Sick

Anointing of the Sick is the second sacrament of healing. In this sacrament, a priest anoints the sick with oil blessed specifically for that purpose. "The anointing of the sick can be administered to any member of the faithful who, having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger by reason of illness or old age".  A new illness or a worsening of health enables a person to receive the sacrament a further time.