The Latin word sacramentum means “a sign of the sacred.” The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God’s saving presence. That’s what theologians mean when they say that sacraments are at the same time signs and instruments of God’s grace.
In this section you will find introductory articles to the sacraments.
The Seven Sacraments in Scripture
A reader has kindly sent an ApologeticaCatolica.org a set of texts related to the Seven Sacraments, which he has noted after a talk by Doctor Fernando Casanova. Certainly a complete reference to take into account when explaining to our separated brethren.
Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall he condemned.
Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.
And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there. And she constrained us.
And he, taking them the same hour of the night, washed their stripes: and himself was baptized, and all his house immediately.
And now why tarriest thou? Rise up and be baptized and wash away thy sins, invoking his name.
¿No saben ustedes que, al quedar unidos a Cristo Jesús en el bautismo, quedamos unidos a su muerte?
1 Co 1,13-16
Is Christ divided? Was Paul then crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I give God thanks, that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Caius: Lest any should say that you were baptized in my name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanus. Besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
1 Co 6,11
And such some of you were. But you are washed: but you are sanctified: but you are justified: in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God.
Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God who hath raised him up from the dead.
Not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost.
1 Pet 3,21
Whereunto baptism, being of the like form, now saveth you also: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but, the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And who shall know thy thought, except thou give wisdom, and send thy holy Spirit from above:
Now, when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them: but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them: and they received the Holy Ghost.
And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have taken them. Then they fasting and praying and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away.
And it came to pass, while Apollo was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper coasts, came to Ephesus and found certain disciples. And he said to them: Have you received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? But they said to him: We have not so much as heard whether there be a Holy Ghost. And he said: In what then were you baptized? Who said: In John's baptism. Then Paul said: John baptized the people with the baptism of penance saying: That they should believe in him, who was to come after him, that is to say, in Jesus. Having heard these things, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had imposed his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them: and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
2 Co 1,21-22
Now he that confirmeth us with you in Christ and that hath anointed us, is God: Who also hath sealed us and given the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts.
In whom you also, after you had heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation), in whom also believing, you were signed with the holy Spirit of promise.
Wherefore, leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to things more perfect: not laying again the foundation of penance from dead works and of faith towards God, Of the doctrine of baptisms and imposition of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread and blessed and broke and gave to his disciples and said: Take ye and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.
And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke and gave to them and said: Take ye. This is my body. And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it. And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.
And taking bread, he gave thanks and brake and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. In like manner, the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.
They said therefore to him: What sign therefore dost thou shew that we may see and may believe thee? What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you; Moses gave you not bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven and giveth life to the world. They said therefore unto him: Lord, give us always this bread. And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.
I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert: and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven: that if any man eat of it, he may not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. (6:52) If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live for ever.
1 Co 10,16
The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?
1 Co 11,23-29
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.
And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
I will arise and will go to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee. I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.
And many of them that believed came, confessing and declaring their deeds
1 Co 5,3-5
I indeed, absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged, as though I were present, him that hath so done, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus: To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Co 2,6-11
To him who is such a one, this rebuke is sufficient, which is given by many. So that on the contrary, you should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore, I beseech you that you would confirm your charity towards him. For to this end also did I write, that I may know the experiment of you, whether you be obedient in all things. And to whom you have pardoned any thing, I also. For, what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned any thing, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ: That we be not overreached by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his devices.
2 Co 5,18-20
But all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Christ and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. For God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their sins. And he hath placed in us the word of reconciliation. For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us, for Christ, we beseech you, be reconciled to God.
Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.
1 John 1,8-9
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
And he could not do any miracles there, only that he cured a few that were sick, laying his hands upon them.
And going forth they preached men should do penance: And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
Whom when Jesus saw, he called her unto him and said to her: Woman, thou art delivered from thy infirmity. And he laid his hands upon her: and immediately she was made straight and glorified God.
And Ananias went his way and entered into the house. And laying his hands upon him, he said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, he that appeared to thee in the way as thou camest, that thou mayest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales: and he received his sight. And rising up, he was baptized.
1 Co 12,9
To another, faith in the same spirit: to another, the grace of healing in one Spirit.
1 Co 12,30
Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man. And the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
He that heareth you heareth me: and he that despiseth you despiseth me: and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
And taking bread, he gave thanks and brake and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me.
And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Now there were certain Gentiles among them, who came up to adore on the festival day. These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew. Again Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
These they set before the apostles: and they praying, imposed hands upon them.
And when Paul and Barnabas had no small contest with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of the other side should go up to the apostles and priests to Jerusalem, about this question. They therefore, being brought on their way by the church, passed through Phenice and Samaria, relating the conversion of the Gentiles. And they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and by the apostles and ancients, declaring how great things God had done with them. But there arose of the sect of the Pharisees some that believed, saying: They must be circumcised and be commanded to observe the law of Moses. And the apostles and ancients assembled to consider of this matter.
And sending from Miletus to Ephesus, he called the ancients of the church.
Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood.
And the day following, Paul went in with us unto James: and all the ancients were assembled.
1 Ti 3,1
A faithful saying: If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth good work.
1 Ti 4,14
Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.
1 Ti 5,17
Let the priests that rule well be esteemed worthy of double honour: especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
2 Ti 1,6
For which cause I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee by the imposition of my hands.
For this cause I left thee in Crete: that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:
1 Pet 5,1
The ancients therefore that are among you, I beseech who am myself also an ancient and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as also a partaker of that glory which is to be revealed in time to come:
And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.
And the Lord God said: It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a help like unto himself. And the Lord God having formed out of the ground all the beasts of the earth, and all the fowls of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: for whatsoever Adam called any living creature the same is its name. And Adam called all the beasts by their names, and all the fowls of the air, and all the cattle of the field: but for Adam there was not found a helper like himself. Then the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon Adam: and when he was fast asleep, he took one of his ribs, and filled up flesh for it. And the Lord God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman: and brought her to Adam. And Adam said: This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh. And they were both naked: to wit, Adam and his wife: and were not ashamed.
And it hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
And the Pharisees coming to him asked him, tempting him: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? But he answering, saith to them: What did Moses command you? Who said: Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce and to put her away. To whom Jesus answering, said: Because of the hardness of your heart, he wrote you that precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. And in the house again his disciples asked him concerning the same thing. And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Luke 16,18 Every one that putteth away his wife and marrieth another committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
For the woman that hath an husband, whilst her husband liveth is bound to the law. But if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. Therefore, whilst her husband liveth, she shall be called an adulteress, if she be with another man: but if her husband be dead, she is delivered from the law of her husband: so that she is not an adulteress, if she be with another man.
1 Co 7,11-15
And if she depart, that she remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his wife. For to the rest I speak, not the Lord. If any brother hath a wife that believeth not and she consent to dwell with him: let him not put her away. And if any woman hath a husband that believeth not and he consent to dwell with her: let her not put away her husband. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife: and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband. Otherwise your children should be unclean: but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever depart, let him depart. For a brother or sister is not under servitude in such cases. But God hath called us in peace.
1 Co 7,39
A woman is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth: but if her husband die, she is at liberty. Let her marry to whom she will: only in the Lord.
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints
For know you this and understand: That no fornicator or unclean or covetous person (which is a serving of idols) hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ. Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ: so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: Because we are members of him, body, of his flesh and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother: and shall cleave to his wife. And they shall be two in one flesh. This is a great sacrament: but I speak in Christ and in the church. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular love for his wife as himself: And let the wife fear her husband.
Marriage honourable in all, and the bed undefiled. For fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
1 Pet 3,1-7
In like manner also, let wives be subject to their husbands: that, if any believe not the word, they may be won without the word, by the conversation of the wives, Considering your chaste conversation with fear. Whose adorning, let it not be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel: But the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit which is rich in the sight of God. For after this manner heretofore, the holy women also who trusted in God adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands: As Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters you are, doing well and not fearing any disturbance. Ye husbands, likewise dwelling with them according to knowledge, giving honour to the female as to the weaker vessel and as to the co-heirs of the grace of life: that your prayers be not hindered.