In Christianity, ritual acts meant to convey God's grace. Christian theology holds that in order for such an act to be valid, it must have the proper form, administration, and intention. In addition, the recipient must be receptive to grace by being in a proper state of faith. There are seven sacraments according to Christian tradition.
These are baptism (the ritual entrance into Christ's community), confirmation (generally an adolescent reaffirmation of the baptismal commitment); Eucharist (or Holy Communion, the taking of bread and wine as the transubstantiated body and blood of Christ), penance (or acts signifying forgiveness of sins), extreme unction (the anointment of oil during last rites); the taking of holy orders (joining the priesthood or a monastic order); and marriage. Baptism and the Eucharist are considered the most important, and they were the sacraments retained by most Protestant churches after the Reformation, although the performance of the sacraments varies widely. Only the Quakers and Salvation Army, among large or well-known denominations, reject the performance of sacraments entirely.
SEE ALSO: baptism; Eucharist; Reformation sacraments | Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church Travel088