Chapter 22. Sacramentals and Popular Devotions • 299
Temple. The Sorrowful Mysteries, which focus on Christ’s suffering
and death, are the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, the
Crowning with Thorns, the Carrying of the Cross, and the Crucifixion
and Death of Jesus. The Glorious Mysteries are the Resurrection, the
Ascension into Heaven, the Sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles
at Pentecost, the Assumption of Mary, and the Crowning of Mary as
the Queen of Heaven and Earth. In October of 2002, Pope John Paul II
issued the apostolic letter
On the Most Holy Rosary
1. What are sacramentals?
Sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church.
These are sacred signs that bear a resemblance to the
sacraments. They signify effects, especially of a spiritual
nature, which are obtained through the intercession of
the Church. (CCC, no. 1667)
2. What is the first among the sacramentals?
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 every spiritual blessing” (Eph 1:3).
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, no. 1671)
3. What is the relationship of popular piety to the liturgy?
These expressions of piety extend the liturgical life of the
Church but do not replace it. They “should be so drawn
up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord
with the sacred liturgy, are in some way derived from it
and lead the people to it, since in fact the liturgy by its
very nature is superior to any of them.” (CCC, no. 1675, cit-
ing SC, no. 13, §3)
FROM THE CATECHISM