Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Friday 08 December |
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

What are the sacraments of initiation in the Catholic Church?


Pascal Deloche | GODONG

Philip Kosloski - published on 08/18/20

Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist are the three sacraments of initiation that lay a strong spiritual foundation for all Catholics.

In order to fully participate in the life of the Catholic Church, both children and adults must receive three sacraments of initiation. These sacraments act as a foundation in the spiritual life and are necessary to receive some of the other sacraments of the Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church briefly summarizes the importance of these sacraments.

The sacraments of Christian initiation — Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist lay the foundations of every Christian life. “The sharing in the divine nature given to men 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.”

Currently most children in the Roman rite receive these sacraments over a period of several years, while adult converts receive all three at the same time. This reflects an early Church tradition of initiating adults into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, where they were baptized, confirmed and received the Eucharist.

This tradition of celebrating all three sacraments at the same time is also retained by Eastern Christians, who administer the sacraments of initiation to both infants and adults.

If someone wants to become a full member of the Catholic Church, these three sacraments complete Christian initiation and usher the individual into the heart of the Church.


Read more:
How do I become Catholic?

The Baptism of Christ

Read more:
How was baptism practiced in the early Church?

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.