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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