The practice of Catholic Church consists of seven sacraments:
- Holy Matrimony,
- Holy Orders,
- Anointing of the Sick ("Extreme Unction"),
- Baptism, and
Eucharist (Communion), is the celebration of the sacrifice of Christ, marked by partaking in the Body of Christ, the bread; and the Blood of Christ, the wine. The Roman Catholic belief that the priest can turn bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is called transubstantiation.
Holy orders is the entering into the priesthood and involves a vow of celibacy in the Latin Rite, though in Eastern Rites men who married before they were ordained to the deaconate may be ordained; the sacrament of Holy Orders is given in three degrees: that of the deacon (even in the Latin Rite a permanent deacon may be married before becoming a deacon), that of the priest, and that of the bishop.
The Anointing of the Sick is also known as "extreme unction" or the "last rites" and involves the anointing with oil of the sick and dying.
Reconciliation, which was formerly called Confession, involves admitting sins to a priest (but not through any electronic communications medium -- email has been specifically excluded in early 21st century decisions) and receiving penance (a task to complete in order to achieve absolution or foregiveness from God).
Baptism is given to infants in the Church and upon entering adulthood, the baptised make a personal commitment in the sacrament of Confirmation. Adult converts may be baptized and confirmed. If they have been baptized using a formula naming "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" in another Christian church they may be simply received into the Church and confirmed.
Confirmation is a sacrament commonly given to young people; the age for the reception of confirmation varies from nation to nation, and even from diocese to diocese in some countries, but ranges from about 7 to about 15. Adult converts who were previously baptized with a trinitarian formula are received into communion in the Catholic Church by confirmation.
While these are the seven acknowledged sacraments of the Catholic church, it is also recognized that a sacrament is recieved at any time a person is made to know that he/she is in the presence of God or the Holy Spirit. The seven sacraments are acknowledged as such because it is believed that at these specific times the Holy Spirit is present during these rites.