All sacraments are liturgies of the Church and are communal. They are visible signs of the action of God in the life of God’s people and are celebrations of our relationship with God and the believing community.
In the Catholic Church there are seven sacraments: three sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist), two sacraments of service, Holy Orders and Marriage and two sacraments of healing Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation (Confession).
According to John Foley in the book Believing in Jesus, all seven sacraments “are events which in the crucial moments of salvation history are brought to bear on critical situations in our lives (Catechism, #1210). In the Eucharist, a summing up of all salvation; in baptism, birth; in confirmation, facing up to responsibility; in penance, the human need for forgiveness; in anointing, facing the inherent weakness of the body; in marriage, forming the essential building block of society; in orders, the need for a center of unity and proclamation of Jesus’ words” (page 165).
The sacraments of initiation are celebrated during the Sunday Mass to signify the role of the Parish community in the journey of initiation and to celebrate these important milestones as a church family. Weekly participation in Mass is a part of living a Catholic way of life and a concrete sign of our relationship with God and the believing community.
We would like to thank Catherine Ecker, Liturgical Catechist (email@example.com) who is the principal author.