Sacraments are the sacred rites of the Christian church, sometimes defined as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” Two sacraments are universally accepted as instituted by Christ himself: the Eucharist (holy communion) and baptism. The late 20th century has seen unprecedented convergence of the churches—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox—over the meanings of these sacraments (See “Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry” studies). Other rites viewed as sacraments by some churches include confirmation, marriage, penance, ordination to ministry, and rites of death and burial.