Sacramentalism is, according to the , "the doctrine that observance of the sacraments is necessary for salvation and that such participation can confer grace.^1^"
The nature of sacramentalism
It would be impossible to discuss Sacramentalism without first identifying what a sacrament is. The word sacrament itself comes from the same Latin root as the word sacred, saint, and other words in that family. Its most literal meaning is a "Holy Obligation.^ 2^" In modern language, though, a sacrament would best be described as an act that a person performs, and through which, the grace of God is conferred to that person. The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it this way: "The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. the visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament.^ 3^"
1. Dictionary.com, "Sacramentalism," http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Sacramentalism