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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, and the Lutheran churches, to manifest the respect due to the sacraments and so to excite pious thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these movements of the heart to remit venial sin.[citation needed]


A text of the Anglican Church includes items such as the Anglican rosary, ashes, and palms among those things counted as sacramentals.[1]


Current Usage[edit]

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] The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists three types of sacramentals: blessings,[3] consecrations/dedications,[4] and exorcisms.[5]

The Latin Church allows the reception of certain sacramentals by non-Catholics. [6]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that 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." [7]


  1. ^ Armentrout, Don S. (1 January 2000). An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church: A User-Friendly Reference for Episcopalians. Church Publishing, Inc. p. 541. ISBN 9780898697018. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Sacrosanctum Concilium 60 [1]
  3. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church 1671
  4. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church 1672
  5. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church 1673
  6. ^ Code of Canon Law 1170
  7. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church; no. 1670

External links[edit]