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Matter (Sacramental) 

The material or gesture constituting the outward and visible sign of a sacrament. A valid sacrament also requires the appropriate form, minister, and intent. In this sacramental context, form refers to the words of prayer that express the meaning of the sacrament and the matter used in the sacrament. In baptism, the matter is water; and in the eucharist, it is the bread and wine. In the sacramental rite of Ordination, the matter is the imposition of hands. Contemporary theology has been willing to see ritual acts, such as the exchange of vows in marriage, or the confessing of sins in reconciliation, as the matter. See Form (Sacramental). 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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