Sacramental

 

Definition -

  1. A Sacrament- outward sign of an inward and spiritual grace

  2. A Sacramental- 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.

 

While the sacraments are given to us by Christ Himself in Scripture, sacramentals are given to us by Christ through His Church.  The sacraments give us sanctifying Grace (salvation Grace), sacramentals allow us to better receive grace from God.

All Christians use sacramentals even if they don’t call them that to varying degrees. Roman Catholics would be firm believers in sacramentals while Baptists would never call them that, still wear crosses and show respect to their Bibles.

Sacramentals have two functions, first they can invite God to work through an object or they can be used to drive the devil away.

Sacraments work ex opere operato (by the deed done/by the work worked) sacramentals work ex opera operatis Ecclesiae (by the work of the Church)

“One way to describe sacramentals is that they are extensions of the sacraments. They are not sacraments in themselves, but are related to each of the seven sacraments and flow from them.  Sacramentals were instituted by the Church to show how Christ came into the world to redeem every facet of life.  Sacramentals are oriented to the sacraments and are meant to lead us to them.”

Scripture references Elisha telling a man to wash seven times in the Jordan (sacramental place), bones of Elisha, mud used by our Lord to heal a blind man, hemorrhages cured by touching Jesus garment, apron touched by Paul and diseases were healed (Acts 19:11-12).

 

Examples of Sacramentals

  1. Blessings

    1. All blessings from Priests or Bishops, anything other then the work of the sacraments by clergy is considered sacramental.

      1. Blessing of people, places, things.

  2. Relics

    1. First Class- body part of a saint or instrument of the Passion

    2. Second Class- came in close contact with a saint (personal items, clothes)

    3. Third Class- objects that have been touched to a first or second class relic

  3. Physical Actions

    1. The Sign of the Cross

    2. Genuflection

    3. Bowing

  4. Exorcisms

    1. Minor

    2. Solemn

  5. Holy Water*

  6. Blessed Salt

  7. Bells

  8. Places

    1. Churches

    2. Chapels

    3. Holy Sites

  9. Clothing

    1. Clericals

    2. Mass Vestments

  10. Palms

  11. Ashes

  12. Chalk

  13. Candles

  14. Art

    1. Crucifix

    2. Icons

    3. Statues

  15. Books

    1. Bibles

    2. Books of Common Prayer

    3. Prayer books

  16. Prayer aids

    1. Rosary

    2. Anglican Rosary

    3. Prayer Rope

  17. Jewelry

  18. Medals

FAQ

  1. Do I have to use sacramentals?

    1. No, Anglicans hold that only two sacraments are necessary for salvation, baptism and Eucharist.

    2. Sacramentals are meant to point us to God and allow us to more readily receive God’s Grace.

  2. Are sacramentals good luck charms?

    1. No, we do not want to be superstitious