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Sacraments (/ˈsækrəmənts/), from the Latin word sacramentum, meaning "a sign of the sacred", are religious rituals or ceremonies that are considered to have a particular importance and significance in various religious traditions.


The term sacrament is derived from the Latin word sacramentum, which was used to translate the Greek word mysterion. In ancient Rome, sacramentum also referred to an oath or vow. In Christian theology, a sacrament is considered a visible sign of an inward grace.

Types of Sacraments

In Christianity, there are typically seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. These sacraments are divided into three categories: sacraments of initiation, sacraments of healing, and sacraments of service.

Sacraments of Initiation

  • Baptism - The first sacrament of Christian initiation. It is the purification and sanctification of the soul by the washing of water and the word of God.
  • Confirmation - The sacrament by which the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit.
  • Eucharist - The sacrament by which Catholics partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and participate in his one sacrifice.

Sacraments of Healing

  • Penance - Also known as Confession, it is the sacrament of spiritual healing for a baptized person from the distancing from God involving actual sins.
  • Anointing of the Sick - A sacrament that gives one grace and strength to endure illness or old age.

Sacraments of Service

  • Holy Orders - The sacrament by which a man is made a bishop, a priest, or a deacon, and thus dedicated to be an image of Christ.
  • Matrimony - The sacrament by which a baptized man and woman are joined together in a lifelong union.

See Also


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