A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
That which is required, along with the prescribed words, for the valid conferral or production of a sacrament. The valid matter is, therefore, some sense-perceptible material or perceivable action that must be joined with the form, i.e., words or signs, to produce a sacrament. Thus the valid matter in baptism is natural water, that "washes" the person being baptized, by pouring, sprinkling, or immersion.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.