Sacraments & Sacramental Rites
The sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace. Grace is God’s favor toward us, unearned and undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills. The two great sacraments given by Christ to his Church are Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist.
Other sacramental rites which evolved in the Church include confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent, and holy unction. A related Christian rite offered by the Episcopal Church is the burial of the dead. Although they are means of grace, they are not necessary for all persons in the same way that Baptism and the Eucharist are.