Sacramentals are important in the Catholic faith. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” states that a sacramental is a sacred sign that bears a resemblance to the sacraments. In the Catholic church these are outward signs that show that Faith is alive and present in the person.
What are some sacramentals that are used in the Catholic church? There are many signs that are considered sacramentals. One of the most common signs is the Sign of the Cross. This sign is used by Catholics when beginning a prayer, entering a church, and is etched on the forehead of every Catholic baptised. It is used in the other sacraments, also. This sign begins with “In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” With each salutation, the Catholic touches forehead, breast, and each shoulder with their right hand. This sign is used even when Catholics dine out in public, before they say their blessing of food prayer. It is a sign of the Catholic faith.
Another sign is the laying-on of hands. This sign is used in confirming the sacraments by the priest. It is also used in the healing ceremony and Holy Spirit seminars. This sacramental shows that the person, who is laying on hands, is asking God’s blessing on that person. There are many blessings in the Catholic Church. These are sacramentals and not sacraments. The various ministers of the church, such as lectors, acolytes, catechists, etc., are often blessed upon the inception of their duties. Vestments, bells, and other objects are blessed, also. These blessings are considered sacramentals. Rosary beads and holy water are other sacramentals that are common in the Catholic Church. The Catholic site, http://www.ecatholic2000.com is a excellent source for the list of sacramentals used in the Catholic Church.
The sprinkling of water is another sacramental that is used in the Catholic Church. This sprinkling reminds the Catholic of the sacrament of Baptism. This water cleansed original sin from the soul when the sacrament of Baptism was received. It is customary to sprinkle the congregation at every Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated.
Sacramentals are meant to be sacred signs that profess the Catholic faith in a more public manner. They are not to be confused with actual sacraments. A sacramental, such as holy water, the rosary beads, scapulars, and medals, is used by the Catholic to enrich the faith and openly show their consecration to the Lord.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church