What is a sacrament?

A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. God gives us the sign as a means whereby we receive that grace, and as a tangible assurance that we do in fact receive it. (1662 Catechism)

There are 2 Gospel Sacraments for every Christian, Baptism and Eucharist. There are 5 others, often called Sacramental Rites. These are not expected for every believer like Baptism and Eucharist, but are also effectual means of grace and states of life.

How should you receive the sacraments?

I should receive the sacraments by faith in Christ, with repentance and thanksgiving. Christ is necessary to receive grace, and obedience to Christ is necessary for the benefits of the sacraments to bear fruit in my life. (1662 Catechism; Articles of Religion, 28)



What is the outward and visible sign in Baptism?
The outward and visible sign is water, in which candidates are baptized “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Book of Common Prayer 2019; see also Genesis 9:8–17; Matthew 28:19–20; 1 Peter 3:18–22)

What is the inward and spiritual grace given in Baptism?
The inward and spiritual grace is death to sin and new birth to righteousness, through union with Christ in his death and resurrection. I am born a sinner by nature, separated from God. But in Baptism, through faith in Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, I am made a member of Christ’s Body and adopted as God’s child and heir. (Psalm 51:1–2, 7–10; Ezekiel 36:25–26; John 3:3–5; Romans 6:1–11; Colossians 2:9–14)

What is required of you when you come to be baptized?
Two things are required: repentance, in which I turn away from sin; and faith, in which I turn to Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord and trust the promises that God makes to me in this sacrament. (Psalm 51:3–6, 13–17; Mark 1:14–15; Acts 2:37–38)

Why is it appropriate to baptize infants?
Because it is a sign of God’s promise that they are embraced in the covenant community of Christ’s Church. Those who in faith and repentance present infants to be baptized vow to raise them in the knowledge and fear of the Lord, with the expectation that they will one day profess full Christian faith as their own. (Deuteronomy 6:6–9; Proverbs 22:6; Mark 2:3–5; Acts 2:39; 16:25–34)

The Eucharist was called the “medicine of immortality” by St Ignatius of Antioch in 107 AD.

Why did Christ institute the sacrament of Holy Communion?
He instituted it for the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of his atoning death, and to convey the benefits of that sacrifice to us. (Exodus 24:1–10; Psalm 23:5–6; Luke 22:17–20; John 6:25–51; 1 Corinthians 10:16–17)

What is the outward and visible sign in Holy Communion?
The visible sign is bread and wine, which Christ commands us to receive. (1 Cor 11:23–26)

What is the inward gift signified?
The inward gift signified is the Body and Blood of Christ, which are truly taken and received in the Lord’s Supper by faith. (Deu­teronomy 8:1–20; Psalm 78:17–29; John 6:52–56; 1 Corinthians 10:1– 4, 16–18)

What benefits do you receive through partaking of this sacrament?
As my body is nourished by the bread and wine, my soul is strengthened by the Body and Blood of Christ. I receive God’s forgiveness, and I am renewed in the love and unity of the Body of Christ, the Church. (1662 Catechism; Psalms 28:6–9; 104:14–15; Jeremiah 31:31–34; John 6:52–56; 17:22–24; Revelation 19:6–9)

What is required of you when you come to receive Holy Communion?
I am to examine myself: Do I truly repent of my sins and intend to lead a new life in Christ? Do I have a living faith in God’s mercy through Christ and remember his atoning death with a thankful heart? And have I shown love and forgiveness to all people? (Le­viticus 10:1–5; Psalm 50; 1 Corinthians 11:27–32)

What is expected of you after partaking in Holy Communion?
I should continue to grow in holiness, avoiding sin, showing love and forgiveness to all, and serving others in gratitude. (Leviticus 20:26; 1 Corinthians 10:14–32; 1 Peter 4:1–11)

What is absolution?
In absolution, a priest, acting under God’s authority, pronounces God’s forgiveness in response to repentance and confession of sin. (2 Samuel 12:1–13; Proverbs 28:13; John 20:22–23; James 5:15–16)

What grace does God give to you in absolution?
In absolution, God conveys his pardon through the Cross, re- moves and cancels my sin, declares me reconciled and at peace with him, and grants me the assurance of his grace and salvation. (Psalm 32; Matthew 18:18; Acts 5:30–32; 1 John 1:8–10)

What is necessary to receive the grace of absolution?Repentance, in which I intend to resist further sin, accept responsibility for my actions, and endeavor to repair damage I have caused; and faith, by which I thankfully receive God’s forgiveness. (1 Kings 8:46–53; Psalm 51; Daniel 9:1–23; Matthew 3:1–12; Romans 2:1–11; 2 Corinthians 7:5–13)

What is the anointing of the sick?
Through prayer and anointing with oil, the minister invokes God’s blessing upon those suffering in body, mind, or spirit. (1 Kings 17:17– 24; Psalm 107:17–22; Matthew 8:14–17; 10:5–8; Acts 28:8; James 5:15–16)

What grace does God give in the anointing of the sick?
God gives healing, strength, and peace, either for recovery from injury or illness, or for perseverance in adversity, especially in preparation for death. (Psalms 103:2–5; 119:49–56; Isaiah 49:13; Mat­ thew 8:5–13; 2 Corinthians 1:3–7; 12:7–10)

What is Christian marriage?
Christian marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a lifelong covenant be- tween one man and one woman, uniting them in self-giving love, joy, and faithfulness. It is ordained by God for the procreation and spiritual nurture of children, the sanctification of husband and wife, the mutual support of their common life, and the flourishing of family, church, and society. Husband and wife enter into this covenant by exchanging vows before God and in the presence of witnesses. (Genesis 2:18–25; Song of Solomon 4:7–10; Matthew 19:3–9; John 2:1–11; Romans 7:2–3; Hebrews 13:4; see questions 322–23)

What is signified in marriage?
The union of husband and wife in one flesh signifies the communion between Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, and the Church, his holy bride. Not all are called or able to marry, but all Christians are joined to Christ as members of his Body. (Song of Solomon 8:6–7; Isaiah 54:4– 8; 1 Corinthians 7:6–11; Ephesians 5:22–33; Revelation 19:6–10; 21:1–4)

What grace does God give in marriage?
In Christian marriage, God unites husband and wife and blesses their common life, that they may grow together in love, wisdom, and godliness, patterned on the sacrificial love of Christ. A Christian marriage embodies this grace in the world, especially through hospitality and care for those who are lonely or in need. (Genesis 2:18–25; Psalm 128; Proverbs 18:22; Matthew 1:18–25; 1 Corinthians 13:1–13; “Holy Matrimony,” Book of Common Prayer 2019)


What is confirmation?
Confirmation is the laying on of the bishop’s hands with prayer for strengthening by the Holy Spirit, following a period of catechetical formation. In confirmation, I make a mature confession of faith, publicly renewing the vows and promises made at my Baptism. (Deuteronomy 6:4–25; Psalm 119:33–40; Acts 8:14–17; 2 Timothy 1:6–7)

What grace does God give you in confirmation?
In confirmation, I am further empowered and gifted by the Holy Spirit for daily growth in wisdom, courage, and humility before God in every aspect of my life and work. (Psalms 37:3–31; 71:17–18; Isaiah 11:2–5; Acts 19:6; Jude 3, 17–25; “Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation,” Book of Common Prayer 2019)

What is the work of all Christians?
All Christians are to bear witness to Christ in their lives; to care for the poor, strangers, widows, and orphans; and, according to their gifts, to serve Christ in the world and in the Church. (Zecha­riah 7:9–10; Psalms 1; 15; Micah 6:6–8; Colossians 3:1–17; James 1:27; 1 Peter 4:8–11)

What is ordination?
Ordination is the laying on of the bishop’s hands with prayer, which confirms the gifts and calling of the candidates, consecrates them, and grants them authority to serve Christ and his Church in the office to which they have been called. (Isaiah 6:1–8; Luke 9:1; Acts 6:1–7; 13:1–3; 1 Timothy 3:1–13; 4:14; 5:22; Titus 1:5–9)

What grace does God give in ordination?
In ordination, God conveys the gift of the Holy Spirit for the office and work of the order being conferred. (Numbers 27:12–23; Ephesians 4:7–16; 2 Timothy 1:6–7)

What are the three ordained ministries in the Anglican Church?
The three orders are bishops, priests, and deacons, which we have received from Scripture and the historic Church. (Acts 6:1–7; 1 Timothy 3:1; 5:17–22; 2 Timothy 4:5; Titus 1:5; Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Trallians 2.1–3; 3.1–2)

What is the work of bishops?
Bishops represent and serve Christ and the Church as chief pas- tors, catechists, and missionaries in the tradition of the apostles. They are to confirm and ordain, and to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church. (Isaiah 61:1–11; John 20:19–23; 21:15–19; Acts 20:17–35; 1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:7–9; 1 Peter 5:1–5; Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to Polycarp 1.2–2.2)

What is the work of priests?
Serving Christ with their bishops, priests (or presbyters) nurture God’s people through the ministry of Word and Sacrament and pronounce absolution and blessing in God’s Name. (Genesis 14:17– 20; Psalm 132:8–18; Luke 10:1–9; John 10:1–16; Ephesians 4:7–13)

What is the work of deacons?
Serving Christ under their bishops, deacons care for those in need, assist in public worship, and instruct both young and old in the catechism. (Deuteronomy 15:7–11; Psalm 119:1–8; Luke 12:35–40; Acts 6:1–7; 1 Timothy 3:8–13)

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