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A sacrament is a Christian rite recognised as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites.

A sacrament is a Christian rite recognised as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites.

Many Christians consider the sacraments to be a visible symbol of the reality of God, as well as a means by which God enacts his grace. The Catholic Church defines a sacrament as "an outward sign of an inward grace, instituted by Jesus Christ". Sacraments signify God's grace in a way that is outwardly observable to the participant. The Catholic Church recognises seven sacraments: Baptism (also known as Christening), Confirmation, Eucharist (or Holy Communion), Reconciliation (Penance or Confession), Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders. The Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Church also believe that there are seven major sacraments, but apply the corresponding Greek word, μυστήριον (mysterion) also to rites that in the Western tradition are called sacramentals and to other realities, such as the Church itself.

Most Protestant denominations identify only two sacraments that were instituted by Christ: the Eucharist and Baptism. Most Anglican and Methodist churches teach that there are two sacraments and explicitly discount "those five commonly called Sacraments". The Lutheran teaching often adds Confession (and Absolution) as a third sacrament.

Some traditions do not observe any of the rites, or hold that they are simply reminders or commendable practices that do not impart actual grace—not sacraments but "ordinances" pertaining to certain aspects of the Christian faith.

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