A sacrament is a Christian rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments to be a visible symbol of the reality of God, as well as a means by which God enacts his grace. Many denominations, including the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed, hold to the definition of sacrament formulated by Augustine of Hippo: an outward sign of an inward grace that has been instituted by Jesus Christ.[1][2][3][4] Sacraments signify God's grace in a way that is outwardly observable to the participant.[4]

The Catholic Church, the Hussite Church and the Old Catholic Church recognise seven sacraments: Baptism, Reconciliation (Penance or Confession), Eucharist (or Holy Communion), Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick.[4][5][6][7] The Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Church[8] also believe that there are seven major sacraments, but apply the corresponding Greek word, μυστήριον (mysterion) also to rites that in the Western tradition are called sacramentals and to other realities, such as the Church itself.[9][10] Many Protestant denominations, such as those within the Reformed tradition, identify two sacraments instituted by Christ, the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) and Baptism.[11] The Lutheran sacraments include these two, often adding Confession (and Absolution) as a third sacrament.[11][12] Anglican and Methodist teaching is that "there are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord", and that "those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel".[13][14] In the Community of Christ, a restorationist denomination with traditional Protestant theology, eight sacraments are recognized, including "baptism, confirmation, blessing of children, the Lord's Supper, ordination, marriage, the Evangelist Blessing, and administration to the sick."[15]

Some traditions do not observe any of the rites, or hold that they are simply reminders or commendable practices that do not impart actual grace—not sacraments but "ordinances" pertaining to certain aspects of the Christian faith.[16]


The English word "sacrament" is derived indirectly from the Ecclesiastical Latin sacrāmentum, from Latin sacrō ("hallow, consecrate"), from sacer ("sacred, holy"). This in turn is derived from the Greek New Testament word "mysterion". In Ancient Rome, the term meant a soldier's oath of allegiance, and also a sacred rite. Tertullian, a 3rd-century Christian writer, suggested that just as the soldier's oath was a sign of the beginning of a new life, so too was initiation into the Christian community through baptism and Eucharist.[17]

Other Languages
Avañe'ẽ: Marangaturã
български: Тайнство
català: Sagrament
čeština: Svátost
dansk: Sakramente
Deutsch: Sakrament
eesti: Sakrament
español: Sacramento
Esperanto: Sakramento
euskara: Sakramentu
فارسی: هفت‌آیین
français: Sacrement
한국어: 성사
Հայերեն: Խորհուրդ
hrvatski: Sakrament
Bahasa Indonesia: Sakramen
interlingua: Sacramento
italiano: Sacramento
עברית: סקרמנט
ქართული: საიდუმლონი
kaszëbsczi: Sakrameńt
Kiswahili: Sakramenti
Latina: Sacramentum
Lëtzebuergesch: Sakrament
lietuvių: Sakramentas
Limburgs: Sacrament
lingála: Sakramɛ́ntu
lumbaart: Sacrament
magyar: Szentség
македонски: Свети тајни
മലയാളം: കൂദാശകൾ
Bahasa Melayu: Sakramen
Nederlands: Sacrament
norsk: Sakrament
norsk nynorsk: Sakrament
polski: Sakrament
português: Sacramento
rumantsch: Sacrament
русский: Таинство
Scots: Sacrament
shqip: Sakramenti
Simple English: Sacrament
slovenčina: Sviatosť
slovenščina: Zakrament
српски / srpski: Свете тајне
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Sakrament
svenska: Sakrament
Tagalog: Sakramento
Türkçe: Sakrament
українська: Таїнство
vèneto: Sacramento
Tiếng Việt: Bí tích
中文: 聖禮