Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 383 C hapter T hree T he S acraments at the S ervice of C ommunion 1533 Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are sacraments of Christian initiation. They ground the common vocation of all Christ’s disciples, a vocation to holiness and to the mission of evangelizing the world. They confer the graces needed for the life according to the Spirit during this life as pilgrims on the march towards the homeland. 1534 Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God. 1535 Through these sacraments those already consecrated by Baptism and Confirmation 1 for the common priesthood of all the faithful can receive particular consecrations. Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders are consecrated in Christ’s name “to feed the Church by the word and grace of God.” 2 On their part, “Chris- tian spouses are fortified and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament.” 3 A rticle 6 THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS 1536 Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaco­ nate. (On the institution and mission of the apostolic ministry by Christ, see above, no. 874 ff. Here only the sacramental means by which this ministry is handed on will be treated.) 1 Cf. LG 10. 2 LG 11 § 2. 3 GS 48 § 2. 1212 784 860