The Latin word sacramentum means “a sign of the sacred.” The seven sacraments are sacred rituals that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. These special occasions are for experiencing God’s saving presence. They are the divine help which God gives us to enable us to:
• Believe the truths of his faith
• Live according to his moral code
• Grow in his gift of divine life
The Sacraments of the Catholic Church 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”
The Church affirms that, for believers as a whole, the sacraments are necessary for salvation. Through each of them Christ bestows that sacrament’s particular grace, such as incorporation into Christ and the Church, forgiveness of sins, or consecration for a particular service.