Lesson 19: The Seven Sacraments


"Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on.  Is not the life more than the meat:  and the body more than the raiment?  Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns:  and your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are not you of much more value than they?  And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit?  And for raiment why are you solicitous?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow:  they labor not, neither do they spin.  But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these.  And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe:  how much more you, O ye of little faith?"
   "Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat:  or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed?  For after all these things do the heathens seek.  For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things.  Seek ye therefore the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." 
(Matthew 6:25-33)

  1. What is absolutely necessary to get to Heaven?

  2.    You have to have Sanctifying Grace in your soul when you die.  Sanctifying Grace is God's life in the soul.

  3. How do you obtain Sanctifying Grace?

  4.    One of the chief ways of obtaining Sanctifying Grace is by receiving the Sacraments.

  5. What is a Sacrament?

  6.    An outward sign made by Jesus Christ to give you grace.
    "I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly."    (John 10:10)

  7. What is an "outward sign"?

  8.    Anything which you can see (or hear or feel), which tells you about something you cannot see.
    For example, a barber pole is an outward sign which you can see in front of a store.  It tells you that there is a barber inside, whom you cannot see.

  9. How are the Sacraments outward signs?

  10.     The outward sign of the Sacrament of Baptism, for example, is the pouring of water on your head and saying the words, "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
    You can see the priest pour the water, and you can hear him say those words.  This is the outward sign that you are receiving Sanctifying Grace, which you cannot see or hear or feel.

  11. How are the Sacraments different from other outward signs?

  12.     The Sacraments not only tell you that you have Grace in your soul, but they actually put the Grace into it.
    All other signs only tell you about something you cannot see.  A barber pole cannot give you a haircut; it only tells you that there is a barber inside the shop.

  13. Name the Seven Sacraments.

  14.     Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

  15. Describe the Seven Sacraments.
  16. BAPTISM Takes away Original Sin and gives you Sanctifying Grace for the first time.
    CONFIRMATION Gives you the Holy Ghost and makes you a strong Catholic.
    HOLY EUCHARIST Is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ
    PENANCE (or Confession) Takes away sins committed after Baptism.
    EXTREME UNCTION Prepares you for death.
    HOLY ORDERS Gives a man the powers of priesthood.
    MATRIMONY Unites a couple in Christian marriage and gives them the graces they need to obey God's laws on marriage.

  17. Do the Sacraments always give grace?

  18.     Yes, if you receive them worthily.

  19. Give some examples of receiving Sacraments unworthily.

  20.     Receiving Holy Communion, Marriage, Holy Orders with a mortal sin on your soul.  Not telling all your mortal sins in Confession.

  21. What kind of sin is it to receive a Sacrament unworthily?

  22.     A mortal sin and a sacrilege.

  23. Where do the Sacraments get the power to give grace?

  24.     From God, because only God can make an outward sign (like the pouring of water) able to put grace into the soul.
    "I am the way, and the truth, and the life."    (John 14:6)

  25. What else do the Sacraments give besides Sanctifying Grace?

  26.     Special help called "sacramental grace."
    For example, Confirmation gives you the strength to be a loyal Catholic; Matrimony gives you the special help to live your married life according to God's laws (such as having as many children as you can).

  27. How many times can you receive Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders?

  28.     You can receive these Sacraments only once.
    Moreover, only qualified Catholic men can receive Holy Orders.

  29. Why can you receive these Sacraments only once?

  30.     Because they imprint on the soul a spiritual mark called a character.
    This mark stays on the soul after death for the glory of those who are saved and for the shame of those who are lost.

  31. How many times may you receive Holy Communion and Penance?

  32.     Every day, if you want.
    Many Catholics receive these Sacraments once a week.

  33. How often can you receive the Sacrament of Matrimony?

  34.     Only once, unless your spouse dies.

  35. How often can you receive Extreme Unction?

  36.     Any time you are in danger of death from sickness, old age or accident.

  37. Who gives you the Sacraments?

  38.     The priest gives you Baptism, Extreme Unction, Holy Communion, and Penance.
    Ordinarily, the bishop gives Confirmation, but in a real emergency your pastor can give it.  Only a bishop can give Holy Orders.  The bride and groom give the Sacrament of Matrimony to each other, although a priest and two witnesses have to be present.  In an emergency, anyone, even a non-Catholic, can baptize.


  1. Except in the case of babies being baptized (they receive the smallest amount of grace), the better you prepare yourself to receive the Sacraments, the greater the amount of grace you will obtain.
  2. Christ gave His Church only the essential parts of each Sacrament, but the Church has surrounded each Sacrament with beautiful ceremonies, which together with the administration of the Sacraments themselves and the Mass ceremonies, form what is called the Liturgy of the Church.
  3. The Sacraments give grace automatically, as long as the priest or bishop and the one receiving the Sacraments fulfill all the required conditions.  It is really Jesus Christ who gives the Sacrament.
  4. The Bible speaks about the Sacraments, grace, the Mass, etc., but it uses different words for these things. (For example, in one place Our Lord calls Sanctifying Grace "living water.")