WHAT ARE SACRAMENTS OF THE DEAD & SACRAMENTS OF THE LIVING?
These are not literal terms, they are figurative.
The terms “living” and “dead” are symbolic descriptions regarding the state of a person’s soul.
In the church two of the Sacraments are figuratively described as Sacraments of the dead.
Now these “sacraments of the dead” are baptism and confession (penance) with the rest being the “sacraments of the living.”
🔥Sacraments Of The Dead
Baptism and Penance are called the Sacraments of the dead because their main purpose is to give the supernatural life of sanctifying grace to the souls that are spiritually dead through sin.
In Brief symbolic imagery of the wording is that baptism brings a soul to life and confession (Penance) brings it back to life after sin.
🔥Sacraments Of The Living
The other five Sacraments, Confirmation, the Holy Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony are called Sacraments of the living.
This is because their main purpose is to give more grace to souls that are already spiritually alive through sanctifying grace.
In conclusion it must be noted that some people place “anointing of the sick” in the “sacraments of the dead” category because it does involve the forgiveness of sins.
All in all, the terms are figurative since all sacraments can only be administered to the living persons.
Source: DAILY CATECHISM+