"Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian's life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life." [CCC1210]
One way to view the Sacraments is to divide them into three basic groups:
The Sacraments of Christian Initiation - Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist
The Sacraments of Healing - Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick
The Sacraments at the Service of Communion and the Mission of the Faithful - Matrimony and Holy Orders
By viewing the sacraments in this manner we are allowed to see that the sacraments form an organic whole in which each particular sacrament has it own vital place. In this organic whole, the Eucharist occupies a unique place as the "Sacrament of Sacraments"; all the other sacraments are ordered to it as to their end.
|Christian Initiation||Healing||Service of Communion|
Anointing of the Sick