The Catholic Church is a “bodily” church. For example, we express our prayer with our bodies at Mass – sitting, standing and knelling. Our stained glass windows, often using vivid colors, represent encounters with God as these stories are told in the Bible.. Music appeals to our gift of hearing.
Sacraments in the Catholic Church incorporate “body” that is, the physical nature of things.
But Sacraments have a hidden dimension to them also. This “unseen” aspect has to do with our relationship with God – whose presents is veiled in this world. Therefore, we might define “Sacraments” as outward signs of inward grace.
We trace the beginnings of Sacraments back to Jesus Christ. He did this to help individuals in their spiritual life and to grow in holiness. Sacraments are mysteries; they are signs of the sacred presence of our God in our midst today.
They are more than mere signs, however, for the sacraments impart grace. The sacraments help to make people holy and build-up the “people of God.” They are a way to relate to God throughout life’s transitions and help us to give praise and worship to God. They help us nourish, strengthen, and express our faith.
Through the sacraments, Jesus remains with His people, strengthening, healing, feeding, and forgiving them as they face life’s challenges.
The Catholic Church celebrates seven Sacraments, which were instituted by Christ during his earthly ministry and which continue to define the prayer life and faith life of the Church today.
In this section of our website you can find a backgrounder on each of the seven Sacraments as well as information on preparing to receive them in the Church.