Understanding Sacramentals

 

 Sacramentals – What Are They and Why Are They

Sacramentals are a deeply-rooted presence in the lives of Catholics – rosaries, holy water, scapulars, medals, devotions. Yet many people do not understand this aspect of the Catholic Faith. To some, sacramentals seem like an array of meaningless trinkets and gestures; to others, they seem like talismans and superstitions. Of course sacramentals are neither of these things, but are in fact sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments” (Catechism, 1667). This guide will help you to understand the types, significance, and theological basis of sacramentals.

What is a Sacramental?

Sacramentals are associated with or imitate the Church’s official rituals. They are sacred signs which remind us of the sacraments. Sacramentals can include physical objects such as rosary beads, chaplets, scapulars, devotional medals, statues, and other objects. They can also be non-physical, including music, gestures such as genuflecting and making the sign of the cross, and novenas and other devotional prayers. Some sacramentals are exclusively part of official Church rituals – such as sacred oils – while others are commonly (but not necessarily exclusively) used in parishioners’ private lives – such as candles and rosaries.

The Difference Between Sacramentals and Sacraments

Sacramentals are related to and remind us of the sacraments. The sacraments were instituted by Jesus, while most sacramentals were instituted by the Church.

Sacramentals are not “lucky” rabbits’ feet or spiritual “get out of jail free” cards. Sacraments give grace themselves but sacramentals do not. Rather, sacramentals excite and encourage pious dispositions and are made effective through faithful devotion, love of God, prayer, and sorrow for sin.

Theology of Catholic Sacramentals

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the theology of the sacramental in this way:

Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.

Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful to man. In accordance with bishops' pastoral decisions, they can also respond to the needs, culture, and special history of the Christian people of a particular region or time. They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on of hands, the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water (which recalls Baptism).

Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a 'blessing,' and to bless.Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).

Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. 'For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows from the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God.'” – (CCC, 1667 – 1670)

 

This article was adapted from Catholic Customs and Traditions and Wikipedia. You can read more in detail about specific sacramentals, including genuflecting, bowing, rosaries, medals and more in Catholic Customs and Traditions.

 

Search for an Article
  


 

Search results for sacramental:

List display as list Grid display as grid  1 2 3 4 5 Go forward one page.
Displaying 1-12 of 59 items.

Hallowed Be This House Hallowed Be This House
Epub Digital Book

This is a digital download.
Item Number: 92690
Price: $8.95
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

Howard shows how the divine, the sacred, is present in our ordinary lives, but especially is present in our home. "Tom Howard, an accomplished writer of great distinction, has the rare gift of being able to express profound truths in whimsical terms. In Hallowed Be This House , he explores with charm and wit the sacramental aspect of our daily lives. I found the book vastly entertaining …



Hallowed Be This House Hallowed Be This House
Kindle Digital Book

This is a digital download.
Item Number: 92691
Price: $8.95
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

Howard shows how the divine, the sacred, is present in our ordinary lives, but especially is present in our home. "Tom Howard, an accomplished writer of great distinction, has the rare gift of being able to express profound truths in whimsical terms. In Hallowed Be This House , he explores with charm and wit the sacramental aspect of our daily lives. I found the book vastly entertaining …



Made in His Image Made in His Image
DVD

Family Life Today
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 21696
Price: $39.99
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

The traditional family is under attack on all sides today. And many cultural forces are trying to refashion it in the image of their own radical ideas. Dynamic evangelist Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers shows how to combat this growing secular invasion by living out the sacramental dimensions of family life. Exploring such issues as the family's relationship to the Trinity, the power of the …


Qty:

Benedicts Reform Benedicts Reform
Paperback

This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 93744
Price: $14.95
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

When Benedict XVI reestablished the celebration of the older Latin Mass, voices of protest rose up from many sides. The widespread fear was-and is-that the Pope had revealed himself as the reactionary defender of tradition that many have accused him of being since he was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the former Holy Office. Defenders of Benedict XVI have …


Qty:

Modern Moral Problems Modern Moral Problems
Paperback

Trustworthy Answers to Your Tough
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 93994
Price: $18.95
Availability: Ships within 7-10 Business Days

Modern Moral Problems Trustworthy Answers to Your Tough Msgr. William B. Smith   "Modern Moral Problems addresses moral quandaries that can beguile and confuse faithful Catholics. Written in a question-and-answer format, the book covers questions regarding sexuality, medical ethics, business practices, civic responsibilities, and the sacramental life of the Church. The extraordinary …


Qty:

Homegrown Faith Homegrown Faith: Nuturing Your Catholic Family
Paperback

Nurturing Your Catholic Family
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 25521
Price: $15.99
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

Heidi Bratton invites you into her home, where shell show you where to find God--right inside the busyness of modern family life. A series of insightful and often humorous weekly reflections on raising faithful Catholic families, "Homegrown Faith" draws on familiar situations--sibling rivalry, fender-benders, lost shoes before Mass--to reveal unexpected sacramental riches. …


Qty:

Certificado de Bautismo Certificado de Bautismo
Box of 50 Certificates and Envelopes

Item Number: 10744
Price: $32.00
Availability: Ships within 8-11 Business Days

The finest in Catholic sacramental certificates - available only at: www.aquinasandmore.com and www.catholicchurchsupply.com   We are extremely pleased to be able to offer our customers what we consider to be the finest Catholic sacramental certificates available on the market today.   This beautiful Spanish language Baptism certificate is offset-printed in high quality …


Qty:

Freedom Freedom
Paperback

Twelve Lives Transformed by the Theology of the
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 2469
Price: $13.99
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

      Who am I?  How do I find true happiness and fulfillment? These are the fundamental questions in each of our lives.  It quickly becomes clear, however, that the best the world can offer are counterfeits that wound us, betray us, and leave us wanting.  Our longings for love, intimacy, and freedom are good, but the sexual revolution sold us a bill of goods …


Qty:

Meaning of Tradition The Meaning of Tradition
Paperback

This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 20511
Price: $14.95
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

Fr. Congar masterfully explains why Tradition is an inescapable aspect of a fully biblical Christian faith. Some Christians claim to reject Tradition in preference to a supposedly "Bible only" Christianity. Catholics, on the other hand, venerate Tradition, yet often without adequately understanding it. In this masterful book, the great theologian Yves Congar explains why Tradition is …


Qty:

Hallowed Be This House Hallowed Be This House
Paperback

Finding Signs of Heaven in Your Home
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 93992
Price: $14.95
Availability: Ships within 3-5 Business Days

Hallowed Be This House (New Edition) Finding Signs of Heaven in Your Home Thomas Howard "Thomas Howard shows us that every room of your house-the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom, and even the bathroom-is a holy place where God's grace awaits you, if only you know how to recognize His presence there. With a rich awareness of  God's all-encompassing love, Howard takes you …


Qty:

Liturgical Ministry of Deacons The Liturgical Ministry of Deacons
Paperback

This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 25647
Price: $9.95
Availability: Ships within 7-10 Business Days

Fr . Michael Kwatera , O.S.B ., helps deacons comprehend, share, and effectively perform their ministry by providing both spiritual and functional support. This short work is directed to all deacons, both permanent and transitional, in the hope that it will promote their formation for service within the church's Eucharist, other sacramental rites, and communal prayer. Contents include …


Qty:

Authentic Catholic Woman The Authentic Catholic Woman
Paperback


Item Number: 55312
Price: $13.99
Availability: Ships within 7-10 Business Days

Genevieve Kineke Foreword by Christopher West What does it mean to be a woman today? Is there a one-size-fits-all answer? How can a woman be truly Catholic and truly feminine, hard-working and creative, and yet be at peace within? How does she nurture life at home, at school, on the job or in the culture? In this profound yet practical guide, Genevieve Kineke invites women to consider the …


Qty:
1 2 3 4 5 Go forward one page.
Displaying 1-12 of 59 items.
 

Find a Wish List
Find a Registry



We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Checks, Money Orders and Paypal.

 
Information
Nextag Seller

Aquinas and More Catholic Goods is an Upfront Merchant on TheFind. Click for info.
By using our site you agree to our terms of use.
All content copyright 2014.
Special Features
 

Get >FREE SHIPPING< and learn more about the Faith with our newsletter.

Free shipping coupon included with newsletter.

 



/ (mm/dd)

*



 

close

Get our free guide to 100 books your parish should own.

 

*



*



 

close