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What is a sacramental?

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Philip Kosloski - published on 05/15/23

Sacramentals are anything blessed by the Church that can help sanctify our everyday life.

The Catholic Church has both sacraments and sacramentals, which can lead to some confusion..

What is the difference? What is a sacramental?

Simply put, sacramentals are anything set apart or blessed by the Church for the purpose of sanctifying our lives and leading us to the sacraments. They are sacred signs and provide for us grace (spiritual help) through the intercession of the Church.

These could include scapulars, medals, holy cards, rosaries, crucifixes, and almost anything a priest blesses with holy water.

Another way to describe sacramentals is that they areextensions of the sacraments. They are not sacraments in themselves, but are related to the seven sacraments and flow from them, ultimately leading us back to them.

Sacramentals are only instruments that God uses to guide us along the right path. If we use them properly, and under the Church’s instruction, they speed us on our journey towards Heaven.

They are not “lucky charms” and they do not “work” without proper disposition. Basically, if our hearts are not open to God, then how can his grace reach us? If we want to fully receive the graces God wants to give us in sacramentals and not use them in a superstitious way, then we should dispose ourselves by frequenting the sacraments of Confession and the Holy Eucharist 

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Devotions and FeastsSacraments
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