Differences Between Sacraments and Sacramentals

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Sacraments and sacramentals are both sacred rituals that a Christian may partake in. Sacraments, such as baptism and communion, are rites that bestow grace upon the individual who participates in them. Sacramentals, on the other hand, offer protection from evil or provide comfort to those who need it. In this blog post, I will compare sacraments to sacramentals and give examples of each one.

Sacraments are signs of grace. They have a sacredness that no other ritual can have because they are the signs of God’s covenant with his people. Sacramentals aren’t as important as sacramental rites, but they do serve to remind us of what is holy and help us draw nearer to God. 

The Catholic Church has two types of sacraments: Sacraments and Sacramentals. Sacraments are the seven sacred rites that give grace to those who partake in them; they do not need to be repeated. A sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace, like water baptism or marriage. A sacramental is a rite that does not confer sanctifying grace but can provide moral or physical benefits (such as blessings for homes). It may be necessary to repeat some sacramentals, such as if one forgets to bless their home after moving out of it. There are also certain rituals that both Catholics and non-Catholics alike practice despite not being part of the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on sacraments and sacramentals – these include things such as receiving an angelus, praying the rosary/chaplet of divine mercy, etc.

Comparison between Sacraments and Sacramentals

Parameters of ComparisonSacramentsSacramentals
InstituteSacraments are instituted by Christsacramentals do not
SignA sacramental is a sign of God’s love and mercythe sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace  
BlessedSacramentals must be blessed by the bishop, priest, or deacon to be effectiveSacramentals must be blessed by the bishop, priest, or deacon to be effective
RequirementsSacraments require certain conditions such as baptismal innocence or worthinesssacramentals don’t have these requirements
ReceiveYou cannot receive more than one sacrament at any timeit’s possible to receive multiple sacramentals at once

What are Sacraments?

A sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace, instituted by Jesus Christ and entrusted to the Church. There are seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders. They are means of grace through which God shares his love and sanctifying power with us. To receive the most out of these blessings we should go to confession regularly and try our best to receive communion often. Let’s discuss each sacrament in detail below.

A sacrament is a sacred ceremony that is part of a religious tradition. The term is typically used in Christianity but can be found in other faiths as well. There are seven sacraments in the Catholic Church, and each one celebrates a different aspect of life. In this blog post, we’ll explore what each of the seven sacraments entails, and learn about their significance in the Catholic faith.

The word sacrament is derived from the Latin word Sacramentum, which means “oath.” In the Christian tradition, sacraments are oaths of commitment made by baptized believers. There are seven sacraments in the Catholic Church: baptism, confirmation, eucharist, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, marriage, and holy orders. Each sacrament is a physical sign that confirms and strengthens our relationship with God. In this blog post, we will explore the history and meaning of each of the seven Catholic sacraments

Differences Between Sacraments and Sacramentals

What are Sacramentals?

Sacramentals are objects that Catholics use to help them grow closer to God. They can be used for blessing, healing, and protection. Most people associate sacramentals with the Stations of the Cross or rosaries because they know these items well. However, there are many different types of sacramentals that you may not be aware of. For example, a crucifix is an object for devotion and contemplation while scapulars are garments worn over your clothes as protection from evil spirits. What do you think? Here’s a little more information about each one.

A sacrament is a formal religious ceremony, and a sacramental is an object that serves as a reminder of the ritual. In other words, they are symbols in which God’s grace can be found in everyday life. They may include physical objects such as blessed salt or holy water or spiritual acts such as blessings with oil. The word comes from the Latin “Sacramentum,” meaning “a sign.”  Some people also use it to refer to any rite of passage for Christians including birth, marriage, ordination, and death. But what exactly do sacramentals do? This blog post will explore these items and their significance for Catholics today.

Differences Between Sacraments and Sacramentals

10 Differences Between Sacraments and Sacramentals

1. Sacraments are instituted by Christ and give grace whereas sacramentals do not.

2. A sacramental is a sign of God’s love and mercy while a sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace.

3. Sacramentals must be blessed by the bishop, priest, or deacon to be effective while sacraments can be administered by anyone ordained with the power to do so.

4. The rubrics for administering the two types of rituals differ in some ways (e.g., what you wear, where you stand.

5. Sacraments require certain conditions such as baptismal innocence or worthiness while sacramentals don’t have these requirements.

6. You cannot receive more than one sacrament at any time but it’s possible to receive multiple sacramentals at once (e.g., wearing a scapular and carrying holy water.

7. Sacraments are the means of grace, while sacramentals are objects that bring us closer to God.

8. Sacraments can be received only once in a lifetime, but sacramentals may be received again and again.

9. Sacraments require an ordained minister, while sacramental ministers need not be ordained.

10. The effects of sacraments include spiritual cleansing and strengthening our relationship with Christ, while sacramentals help ward off evil or provide some form of protection from harm.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Sacraments

1. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also known as Confession or Penance.

2. three sacraments can be performed by a priest only- the Eucharist, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

3. A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.

4. Sacraments are all about transformation – they change us from without (ex opera operator).

5. Baptism is not considered a necessary sacrament for salvation because it does not confer grace in itself; rather, it serves as the gateway to receive other sacraments.

6. Catholics believe there are seven sacraments-Baptism, Confirmation, Communion (Eucharist), Marriage (Holy Matrimony), Anointing of the Sick (Unction), Holy Orders, and last rites (Extreme Unction).

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Sacramentals

1. Sacramental bread is not a symbol of the body of Christ, but a reminder to us that we should be fed by his flesh and blood.

2. The first sacramentals were stones or water from the Jordan River.

3. There are two types of sacramentals – those that require anointing with oil and those that do not need any type of blessing.

4. Sacramentals can be things such as crosses, rosaries, statues, holy cards, scapulars, medals, etc.

5. A sacramental can also be something like ashes on Ash Wednesday or palms on Palm Sunday which aren’t blessed in any way but still serve as reminders for Catholics during these days.

6. People who wear a cross around their neck believe it will protect them from evil spirits and bring them good luck.


Sacraments and sacramentals are both ways to communicate with God. Sacraments, such as baptism or communion, require a specific rite that is performed by the church community. Sacramentals do not have rites in them and can be used for any occasion where you want to commune with God. The difference between sacraments and sacramentals comes down to how they function: sacraments involve an outward action while sacramentals don’t necessarily need one. This means that if your intention when using a sacramental is just to experience its benefits but you’re not seeking reconciliation with the Church then it’s still considered a valid use of this type of object.


Resource 01: https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments-and-sacramentals
Resource 02: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramental

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