SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
The Three Sacraments of Initiation
into the Catholic Church
The first three sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion are collectively known as the Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church, “whose unity must be safeguarded” according to the Catholic Catechism. The easiest way to understand why there are three Sacraments of Initiation (and not just one) is by viewing them in the light of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity is the Christian doctrine of God’s nature: the unity of three Divine Persons in one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of the Sacraments of Initiation reveals one of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.
According to the Catechism, “The sacraments of Christian initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist—lay the foundations of every Christian life. The sharing in the divine nature through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.” (CCC 1212)