In Roman Catholicism, a sacramental is something related to a sacrament.  A sacrament is a means of obtaining actual and/or sanctifying grace, where a sacramental is not.

  • Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1667 "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."
  • CCC 1670 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."

Examples of sacramentals would be:

  • scapulars
  • medals
  • bells
  • crucifixes
  • the sign of the cross
  • stations of the cross
  • holy water
  • rosaries
  • ashes

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.