“Seated at the right hand of the Father” and pouring out the Holy Spirit on his Body which is the Church, 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.” (CCC. 1084)
There are seven sacraments, giving us the life and grace of Christ.
Sign: Water is poured over the candidate’s head while the words are spoken “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Grace: All sin is forgiven. God’s divine life is given to us in the Holy Spirit.
Sign: Bread and wine are used while the priest repeats Christ’s words during the last supper.
Grace: Jesus offers himself to the Father through the priest. At the words of consecration said by the priest, the bread and wine become the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus. By receiving Jesus in this way, it is the most perfect union we can have with Him.
Sign: The Bishop anoints the Christian with oil, saying the words, “be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Grace: Confirmation is the completion of the grace given in Baptism. “For ‘by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.” (CCC. 1295)
Sign: After the penitent confesses his/her sins, the Priest gives the words of absolution while making the sign of the cross over the penitent.
Grace: “Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” (CCC. 1422)
Sign: The spouses mutually express their committment as they consummate the marriage.
Grace: The spouses are united in and with Christ. The divine love of the Trinity is infused into the life of the couple and their family.
6. Holy Orders:
Sign: The Bishop imposes his hands on the head of the ordained and says the appropriate prayer for deacon, priest, or bishop.
Grace: The mission of Christ given to the Apostles is continued through ordained ministers.
7. Anointing of the Sick:
Sign: The priest lays hands on the sick, praying over them, and anointing them with oil.
Grace: The Holy Spirit strengthens and aids them in their spiritual needs. They are united with Jesus in his sufferings and death.