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 6 7 8 9 10 Go forward one page. Go forward several pages.
Displaying 1-12 of 127 items.

Rebuilding Confirmation Rebuilding Confirmation
Paperback

This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 97112
Price: $8.76 $10.95 (20% discount)
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

All too often, the sacrament of Confirmation feels like a graduation from religious obligation, according to Christopher Wesley, former director of student ministry at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland. In  Rebuilding Confirmation , Wesley shares how to reimagine Confirmation preparation in new or existing programs so that teens will become active members of the Church.   …


Qty:

Be Transformed The Healing Power of the Sacraments
Paperback

This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 97110
Price: $13.56 $16.95 (20% discount)
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

How can Christians grow spiritually in the midst of our sinfulness? How can we transform our lives in a way that allows us to share in the resurrection of Jesus? God has already given us the perfect solution—the sacraments. Whether it is the wound of past hurts, the strain in our relationships, or the stress of daily life, we all need to be comforted and made whole by Christ. In this …


Qty:

Couriers of Grace My Daughter, the Sacraments, and a Surprising Walk
Paperback

This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 97111
Price: $11.16 $13.95 (20% discount)
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

Testifying to the life-changing and joy-giving power of the sacraments, Catholic author Nancy Jo Sullivan shares how moments in her life and that of her late daughter Sarah—who had Down syndrome—unexpectedly triggered a renewed faith and deeper relationship with God and others. With startling and courageous clarity, Nancy Jo Sullivan recalls the journey that led her to renew and …


Qty:

We Celebrate the Sacrifice of Love - The Mass 2nd Ed We Celebrate the Sacrifice of Love (The Mass) 2nd
Paperback

This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 8777
Price: $4.76 $5.95 (20% discount)
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

Updated to the new English translation of the Roman Missal, this 2nd Edition large format booklet (8-1/2" x 11") is a wonderful tool for young children to both understand the parts of the Mass and the new responses. Can be used with any catechetical series as it is a stand alone booklet. Recommended for Kindergarten up to 4th Grade. Perfect for classroom, parish or home instruction, …


Qty:

Gate of Heaven Gate of Heaven
Paperback

This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 21017
Price: $9.95
Availability: Ships within 3-5 Business Days

  For those who have enjoyed Sister Catherine’s Our Glorious Popes , this work is an equally worthy production from the pen of an historian gifted in the art of scholarly composition. Its theme is a song of gratitude to Our Savior Jesus Christ and to His Blessed Mother for so plentiful a redemption. The author exudes both her own joy in living the sacramental life within the …


Qty:

Medal or Cross of Saint Benedict The Medal or Cross of Saint Benedict
Paperback

Its Origin, Meaning, and Privileges
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 455
Price: $11.95
Availability: Ships within 7-10 Business Days

Saint Benedict, father of western monasticism, is rather more known for his life and Rule than for a medal cast in his honor. The history of the image and the exorcism engraved on the medal, as well as the power of that Cross which the holy patriarch bears in his right hand, can be traced back to the eleventh century. Before he became Pope Saint Leo IX, one Bruno of Toul was cured of a mortal …


Qty:

Symbolon: La Fe Católica Explicada Symbolon: La Fe Católica Explicada
Paperback

Parte I - Guía del Líder
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 96232
Price: $27.96 $34.95 (20% discount)
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

Esta Guía inclusiva le ayuda a cualquier católico fiel a que conduzca un estudio eficaz de la Parte I de Symbolon: La Fe Católica Explicada, ya sea en casa o en la parroquia. Llevando paso a paso a los líderes a través de cada sesión de Symbolon, esta guía equipa a los líderes a dar el programa con confianza y claridad. La Guía …


Qty:

Relics Relics
Single
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 15394
Price: $0.75
Availability: Ships within 7-10 Business Days

Many non-Catholics particularly shy away from the sacramental.aspects of Catholicism—and not from the seven sacraments only. What they dislike is the mixing of spirit and matter, the gift of something spiritual—grace—by means of physical things. That, after all, is what the sacraments are. In the sacraments, common material things, such as water, wine, bread, oil, and the …


Qty:

Permanence Of Matrimony The Permanence Of Matrimony
Pack of 50 Tracts
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 15507
Price: $14.95
Availability: Ships within 7-10 Business Days

When Jesus came, he elevated matrimony to the same status it had originally possessed between Adam and Eve—the status of a sacrament. Thus, any valid marriage between two baptized people is a sacramental marriage and, once consummated, cannot be dissolved. Jesus, therefore, taught that if anyone so married divorces and remarries, that person is living in perpetual adultery, a state of …


Qty:

Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained Spanish - Part II Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained (Spanish) -
Paperback

Leader Guide
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 96238
Price: $27.96 $34.95 (20% discount)
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

Esta guía inclusiva le ayuda a cualquier católico fiel a que conduzca un estudio eficaz de la Parte II de  Symbolon: La Fe Católica Explicada , ya sea en casa o en la parroquia. Llevando paso a paso a los líderes a través de cada sesión de  Symbolon , esta Guía equipa a los líderes a dar el programa con confianza y claridad. La …


Qty:

One in Christ Facilitator's Manual One in Christ Facilitator's Manual
Paperback

Marriage Preparation
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 12918
Price: $39.00
Availability: Ships within 10-15 Business Days

One in Christ provides bishops, priests, deacons, and lay facilitators with an all-inclusive and comprehensive Pre-Cana program. Rev. Thomas Aschenbrener presents both the sacramental theology and the practical “tools” of Christian Marriage to help couples reach an understanding of how marriage is an opportunity to assist the other in attaining Heaven and what that means for their …


Qty:

One in Christ Couples' Workbook One in Christ Couples' Workbook
Paperback

Marriage Preparation
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 12919
Price: $19.00
Availability: Ships within 10-15 Business Days

One in Christ provides bishops, priests, deacons, and lay facilitators with an all-inclusive and comprehensive Pre-Cana program. Rev. Thomas Aschenbrener presents both the sacramental theology and the practical “tools” of Christian Marriage to help couples reach an understanding of how marriage is an opportunity to assist the other in attaining Heaven and what that means for their …


Qty:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Go forward one page. Go forward several pages.
Displaying 1-12 of 127 items.
 

Find a Wish List
Find a Registry



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

Shopper Award
 
Information
Nextag Seller


By using our site you agree to our terms of use.
All content copyright 2017.
Special Features
 
--->