World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0001597582
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sacramentals  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Saint Benedict Medal, Scapular, Fivefold Scapular
Collection: Christian Belief and Doctrine, Christian Terminology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A Palm Sunday photo of the blessing of palms, a sacramental in Christianity

Sacramentals are material objects, things or actions (sacramentalia) set apart or blessed by the Roman and Eastern Catholic churches, the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, the Church of the East, the Anglican churches, the Independent and Old Catholic churches, the Lutheran churches, and the Methodist churches to manifest the respect due to the sacraments and so to excite pious thoughts and to increase devotion.


  • Anglican 1
  • Catholic 2
    • Current usage 2.1
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The Anglican Rosary sitting atop The Anglican Breviary and The Book of Common Prayer

A text of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America includes items such as the Anglican rosary, ashes, and palms among objects counted as sacramentals.[1]


Current usage

The Catholic Church currently defines sacramentals as "sacred signs which... 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." [2]

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 one to receive grace and dispose a person 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.” [3]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists three types of sacramentals: blessings,[4] consecrations/dedications,[5] and exorcisms.[6]

The blessing at meals is an opportunity to offer God a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. Incense is both a sign of blessing and respect, and of prayer rising to God. Holy water recalls the sacrament of Baptism, and oil used in the sacraments as a symbol of healing the body and spirit.[7] Other sacramentals include: the Sign of the Cross, blessed salt, crucifixes, candles, blessed ashes and palms.[8] These are called sacramentals since they are intended for use in the celebration of Worship.[9]

Rosary beads, scapulars, medals and religious images are more accurately termed “devotional articles"; non-liturgical prayers such as the rosary, the stations of the cross, litanies, and novenas are called “popular devotions” or “expressions of popular piety”.[10]

The Latin Church allows the reception of certain sacramentals by non-Catholics.[11]


  1. ^ Armentrout, Don S. (1 January 2000). An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church: A User-Friendly Reference for Episcopalians. Church Publishing, Inc. p. 541.  
  2. ^ Sacrosanctum Concilium 60
  3. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §1670
  4. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §1671
  5. ^ Catechism §1672.
  6. ^ Catechism §1673.
  7. ^ , St. Anthony Messenger Press, October 17, 2005American CatholicVan Vurst O.F.M., Jack. "Sacramentals",
  8. ^ , November 1, 2014Our Sunday VisitorO'Neill, Eddie. "What are Sacramentals?",
  9. ^ , p.55, Liturgical Press, 1992, ISBN 9780814661208Liturgical Inculturation: Sacramentals, Religiosity, and CatechesisChupungco, Anscar J.,
  10. ^ Catechism §1674.
  11. ^ Code of Canon Law 1170

External links

  • Catechism of the Catholic Church: Sacramentals
  •  Henri Leclercq (1913). "Sacramentals".  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.