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sacramental, in the Roman Catholic Church, aid to devotion that is not a sacrament. Sacramentals are commonly divided into six classes: prayer, anointing, eating, confession, giving, and blessings. According to church teaching, sacramentals are not founded by God but by the church, and therefore do not convey grace. Examples are holy water, many blessings, and the rosary.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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