“Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. The 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” (CCEO, can. 867).
“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” (CCC, paragraph 1670).
Various Forms of Sacramentals
Blessings. Among sacramentals, blessings (of persons, meals, objects and places) come first. Every blessing praises God and prays for his gifts. In Christ, Christians are blessed by God the Father “with ever spiritual blessing.” This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ (CCC, par. 1671).
Holy Water. The sprinkling and blessing with holy water recalls Baptism.