ST CHRISTOPHER’S CATHEDRAL PARISH FORREST ACT What is a Sacrament? The seven sacraments are a very important part of our Catholic faith. But, what exactly is a sacrament? And why are they so important in our spiritual journey? The word "sacrament" is the Latin translation of the Greek word mysterion, reminding us that sacraments are at their core mysteries. That is, although sacraments are physical, they are not necessarily logically demonstrable, and are certainly not "magical." St. Augustine's classic definition of sacrament is "a visible sign of an invisible grace." In other words, just as Christ was physical, so He leads the Church to minister in a very physical way as well. The Sacraments are reminders that the drama of salvation is still in process, and includes us. The purpose of each of the Sacraments is to direct us to Jesus Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say about the sacraments: Christ now acts through the sacraments he instituted to communicate his grace. The sacraments are perceptible signs (words and actions) accessible to our human nature. By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace that they signify(1084) Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify. They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies.(1127) We believe Jesus himself gave us each of the sacraments and each one flows from his life and ministry. Through each sacrament we are given the grace of God and drawn closer to him. Each sacrament is a visible sign of God’s unconditional love for us. A visible sign where God comes to us, enters into our life and brings us closer to him through his grace. The seven sacraments can be broken down into the Sacraments of Initiation, Sacraments of Healing, and Sacraments of Christian Vocation. Sacraments of Initiation Baptism Our sins are washed away, and this is the beginning of our membership in the life of the church.  Confirmation We are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  Eucharist We celebrate the Lord’s Supper and remember God’s love through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  Sacraments of Healing Reconciliation Also known as confession or penance, through reconciliation God forgives us for our sins.  Anointing of the Sick Christ heals us and raises us up from our infirmities.  Sacraments of Christian Vocation Marriage Holy Orders These Sacraments of Christian Vocation are sacraments where God has called each of us to a particular state of life.