Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

FORM

The nature or essence of a thing; the internal specific principle of the distinctive nature or activities of any created being. Also, after a change, the new feature(s) in whatever has been changed. Contrasted with matter in scholastic philosophy and theology.

In reference to the sacraments, their form is the sacramental sign or the words that specify the function of the matter and confer on it the power of sanctifying. Thus in baptism the Trinitarian formula "I baptize you . . ." is the form.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline 17 hours ago
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days