Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification. Sacraments are mysteries; they are signs of the sacred presence of our God we cannot see. They are more than mere signs, however. Sacraments actually give grace. For instance, Baptism is more than just a sign of union with Jesus; it actually washes away sins and gives the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Catholic Church celebrates seven sacraments: three sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist; two sacraments of healing: Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick; and two of life commitment and service to the Church: Matrimony and Holy Orders. These seven sacraments touch upon all the significant stages of Christian life.