A sacrament is a sign and instrument of God’s grace, that enables Christians to grow in holiness in preparation for the kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ instituted them as channels of salvation.
The Catholic Church recognises seven sacraments: baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, reconciliation, matrimony, holy orders and anointing of the sick. The term “sacrament” means “oath”, referring to its character as a sign that dispenses the grace of God. Eastern Christians call sacraments “mysteries”, which highlights the interior and hidden action taking place whenever a sacrament is administered.