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Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Reconciliation, 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 the healing and mission of the Christian's life of faith. There is a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.

A "Sacrament" is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace." Baltimore Catechism. The Sacraments have the power of giving grace from the merits of Jesus Christ. Some of the Sacraments give sanctifying grace, and others increase it in our souls. Baptism and Reconciliation give sanctifying grace because they take away the stain of sin on our souls. Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick increase sanctifying grace because those who receive them worthily are already living the life of grace. The Sacraments always give grace, if we receive them with the right disposition. 



The sacraments of Christian initiation - Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist - lay the foundations of every Christian life. The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity. CCC: 1212