The sacraments are liturgical rites which are “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us” (CCC 1131). In other words, a sacrament is a sacred and visible sign of an invisible reality, through which God gives us his grace.
Christ was present at the inception of all the sacraments, which He instituted 2,000 years ago and he is also present every time each sacrament is celebrated.
The Catholic Church has seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony.
Grace – which is dispensed through the Seven Sacraments – is the life of God that our Lord gives us as a free and undeserved gift in order that we might respond to his call to partake of the divine nature and of eternal life. Grace is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to people that takes the form of divine favour, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God.
The sacraments are divided into three groups:
Preparation for all sacraments is scheduled and facilitated by your local parish. For more information, or for registration forms, please click on the specific Sacrament.
For teachers, the Archdiocese offers the following guidelines and resources:
- Archdiocesan Standards For Preparing Children And Youth For The Sacraments (PDF, see especially pages 61-72.)
- Archdiocesan Sacramental Standards Additional Resources (PDF, primarily for teachers)