7 Sacraments of The Catholic Church (Rites)

Do you remember a time when you were invited to your priest’s home during the holiday season and everyone was enjoying the meal at the dining table when suddenly one of the priest’s children asked you a question that you had no idea what it was, “What are the seven rites of the Catholic church?” The next thing you know is that you are smiling as sweat is dripping from your head as you read this. You know how it feels when you get that feeling, don’t you? I can’t tell you how embarassing it can be.

What are the Sacraments of The Catholic Church?

There are 7 Sacraments of The Catholic Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.

As for this post, we shall be taking a closer look at each one of these rites in order to gain a better understanding of what they entail.

What is a Rite or Sacrament?

A sacrament is an important and significant Christian rite that is recognized as being especially important and significant to Christians. Such rites are subject to a variety of views when it comes to their existence and their meaning. The sacraments are considered by a large number of Christians as a visible symbol of the reality of God, but they also serve as a channel for God’s grace to flow through.


In the Christian faith, baptism is the first sacrament through which a person becomes united to both Christ and the Church – it is required before receiving any other sacrament. In this rite, a priest performs the immersion of the baptismal candidate into water, which serves to cleanse their original sin through the power of water and the word of God. Anointing with sacred chrism is performed when the candidate wears white garments, a candle is lit, and a candle is lit for the candidate. You are taking the first step in your relationship with God and with Christ by taking this step. It is usually when the candidate is a baby that this occurs, however, it is never too late to begin your journey with God, and you are never too old to begin your journey with God. There is a common tradition of having a baptism celebration with friends and family after the baptism, as well as giving the child baptism keepsakes that will help them grow in their faith over time.

  • You are therefore called to go, make disciples of all nations, and to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
  • During those days, it happened that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in Jordan on the day that he came from Nazareth of Galilee. As soon as he came up from the water, the heavens were opened and the Spirit descended upon him, like a dove. In that moment, a voice from heaven arose in response to his call, saying, “Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. Mark 1:9-11
  • And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. Acts 16:31, 33
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As part of the initiation process with God and the Church, this is the sacrament that follows Baptism, where the candidate receives the gift of the Holy Spirit and continues their journey with Christ through the gift of the Holy Spirit. A bishop anoints the forehead of the candidate with chrism during Confirmation, when the candidate is anointed with the oil of chrism. Confirmation is an excellent way for older children to acknowledge that even though they are not yet babies, they still desire to continue their journey with God and grow their relationship with him, and to acknowledge that they still want to continue their journey with him. As a way to celebrate your child’s confirmation, buy them an inspirational Bible, highlight meaningful verses, or place a cross on the cover so that they can see God’s love every day as a way to remind them of God’s love.

  • Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
  • When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12


Eucharist is a word that means thanksgiving in the Catholic faith. As you probably already know, this is when Christ’s body and blood are offered to the parishioner in the form of bread and wine, and then received by him. When Christ broke bread during the Last Supper, he ate it, he gave it to his disciples for them to eat, and he told them to eat it as well. Every time the Holy Communion is administered at a mass, the priest blesses and consecrates the bread and wine as a reminder that as Christians we are one with Christ through the words of consecration. Our bodies are nourished with food and drink, but we are nourished spiritually with Christ’s blood and body.

  • Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
  • While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:26-28
  • They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Acts 2:42-46
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Holy Orders

This sacrament is for those who wish to become priests, bishops, or deacons as they choose to do so. By being ordained, they are able to fulfill sacred duties and serve the church community in a sacred way. In this sacrament, not everyone will participate, but rather those who feel a calling from God will do so in response to the sacrament.

  • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
  • Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. Acts 20:28
  • I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19


The sacrament of penance is a rite in which the faithful confess sins to God, which is done through a priest who, by God’s mercy, absolves their sins, and then instructs them on how to live a more faithful life after they have been absolved of their sins. In order to cultivate a fruitful relationship with God and live out his word in a fruitful manner, confession is essential. Despite all our efforts, there is no such thing as a perfect person, even if we try to be one. If you confess some of those things that you have made a mistake and receive forgiveness for them, it feels so much better. Our relationship with God becomes stronger as a result of doing this.

  • No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.  Luke 13:3
  • But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my commandments, and do judgment, and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die.  Ezekiel 18:21
  • Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13
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Anointing the Sick

There is no evidence that this sacrament is bestowed upon people when they are seriously ill or suffering, thus joining them with Christ’s passion when they are afflicted. In order to participate in this sacrament, the person must be anointed with chrism and have a priest administer a special blessing to their forehand and hands while the chrism is applied. A special blessing can be given to the sick in order to provide them with strength and to help them feel more connected to God in both their mind and their body.

  • Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  James 5:14
  • And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.  Mark 6:13
  • This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”  Matthew 8:17


Marriage is more than just a union between a man and a woman. In a sense, the devotion that a husband and wife have to each other, and to Christ, is a reflection of the love and service that Christ has to the church. There are a number of promises a couple must make when they get married, such as the promise of helping each other grow in faith, serving each other and the church, and keeping their word until death do them part.

  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
  • For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her. Ephesians 5:25
  • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:27-28

Closing Remarks

All the Catholic Church’s sacraments are holy and equally valid. In order to satisfy the Sunday requirement, it is sufficient to attend a different rite. The Catholic Church is truly universal since it brings together so many different religious traditions whose adherents all believe the same things.

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