The Seven Sacraments
Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law:
Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony.
The Sacrament of Sacraments
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. All of the sacraments, ministries, and works of the Church are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. The Eucharist contains the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself.
The Eucharistic sacrifice at the altar perpetuates Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. At the Last Supper, Christ entrusted the Eucharistic banquet to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, and a bond of charity.
In the Gospel according to John, Christ proclaims, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever ... Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day."
In the Eucharist, in the form of consecrated bread and wine, Christ himself is present among us -- his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity. When we partake of the Eucharist, we unite ourselves to Christ and his Mystical Body, the Church.
Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in full communion with the Church and in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the Sacrament of Penance.
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