The Celebration of the Christian Mystery
joined together; the refusal of fertility turns married
life away from its “supreme gift,” the child (
The remarriage of persons divorced from a living,
lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as
taught by Christ. They are not separated from the
Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic commun
ion. They will lead Christian lives especially by edu-
cating their children in the faith.
The Christian home is the place where children receive
the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the
family home is rightly called “the domestic church,” a
community of grace and prayer, a school of human
virtues and of Christian charity.
“Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramen-
tals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacra-
ments. 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.”
The characteristics of sacramentals
Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain
ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of
circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful
to man. In accordance with bishops’ pastoral decisions, they can
also respond to the needs, culture, and special history of the Chris-
tian people of a particular region or time. They always include a
prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on
of hands, the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water
(which recalls Baptism).
60; cf. CIC, can. 1166; CCEO, can. 867.