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Frequently Asked Questions
regarding the

Q. 1. What can you tell me about the Sacraments of the living?

A. 1. Of the 7 Sacraments of the Catholic Church, 5 of them are Sacraments of the living. They are classified as such because their chief purpose is to give more grace to the souls already spiritually alive through sanctifying grace.

Baptism and Penance are called "sacraments of the dead", because they give life, through sanctifying grace then called "first grace", to those who are spiritually dead by reason of original or actual sin. The other five are "sacraments of the living", because their reception presupposes, at least ordinarily, that the recipient is in the state of grace, and they give "second grace", i.e. increase of sanctifying grace.

The sacraments of the living are Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Matrimony, and Holy Orders. They require the state of grace to be received fruitfully.

Anointing of the Sick and Dying is generally regarded as a sacrament of the living because it should be received in a state of grace, but in some situations it operates as a sacrament of the dead.

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