A sacrament is defined as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual faith”. Episcopalians celebrate two sacraments—Holy Communion, or Eucharist, and Holy Baptism. Eucharist is the foundation of our worship, while Baptism is the means through which we join ourselves to Christ and to the universal church as a member of Christ’s body. Baptism is a public celebration within the context of worship.

Other rites, such as Confirmation, Ordination, Marriage, and Unction (the laying on of hands for healing), are pastoral occasions that may be part of worship, but mark milestones in individual lives, where the two sacraments of Communion and Baptism are acts in which Jesus himself participated, and through which the church continues to participate in his life.

The Episcopal Church also sometimes uses a rite of Confession, which can be individual or communal. Many use the communal rite of confession during the Lenten season, which the church observes beginning on Ash Wednesday.