An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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C.M. (The Doctor of Church Music degree. It presupposes a master's degree in church music from a school that follows the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Music. Read More »

D. Doctor of Divinity( An honorary degree that may be awarded by a seminary to a member of the clergy or laity in recognition of significant contributions to the church. Seminaries frequently confer the degree on their alumni who are consecrated bishops.

H.L( The Doctor of Hebrew Letters presupposes a first theological degree and is to equip persons for teaching and research in theological seminaries, colleges, and universities.

M.A(The Doctor of Musical Arts degree presupposes a master's degree in church music from a school that follows the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Music. Read More »

Min(The Doctor of Ministry degree presupposes the M. Div. degree and constitutes an advanced professional degree at the doctoral level with an emphasis on the profession and practice of ministry.

Miss(The Doctor of Missiology degree is a two-year, part M. Div. professional degree for missionaries interested in advanced training in cross-cultural ministries. It was first developed by Roman Catholic schools.

S.M( Sometimes referred to as S.M.D., the Doctor of Sacred Music degree presupposes a master's degree in church music from a school that follows the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Music. Read More »

V.( Deo Volente, Latin for "God willing." This abbreviation sometimes appears on formal announcements for celebrations and events such as an ordination.

See Evening Prayer.

See Morning Prayer.

Use of daily prayers to mark the times of the day and to express the traditions of the praying community is traditional in Judaism and in Christianity. The third, sixth, and ninth hours (9 a.m., 12 noon, and 3 p.m.) were times of private prayer in Judaism. The congregational or cathedral form of... Read More »

On Oct. 21, 1865, the House of Bishops created the Missionary District of Nebraska and Dakota. The House of Bishops divided this District on Oct. 28, 1868, and established the Missionary District of Dakota. The Missionary District of Dakota existed until 1883, when on Oct. 13, the House of Bishops... Read More »

(1770-Nov. 24, 1836). Church historian. He was born in London, England, and was baptized on Oct. 15, 1770. Dalcho came to Baltimore, Maryland, studied medicine, and became a surgeon's mate in the United States Army in Apr. 1792. In 1799 he settled in Charleston, South Carolina, where he... Read More »

(d. Aug. 9, 1619). Public official in colonial Virginia. He was born in England. On June 19, 1606, he was knighted Sir Thomas Dale of Surrey. Dale entered the service of the Virginia Company of London, which appointed him marshal of Virginia. When he arrived in Virginia on May 19, 1611, the... Read More »

The General Convention of 1874 voted to divide the Diocese of Texas and create the Missionary District of Northern Texas and the Missionary District of Western Texas. At the primary convention on Dec. 19-20, 1895, at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Dallas, the Missionary District of Northern Texas... Read More »

The distinctive vestment of deacons in the western church. It may be worn at any liturgy in any season. The term is derived from a white tunic worn in second-century Dalmatia. The dalmatic was an ample white tunic with wide sleeves, bands about the cuffs, and clavi, or colored bands, descending... Read More »

The Presbyterians established Daniel Baker College in 1888 at Brownwood, Texas. In 1930 the school became an independent, self-supporting institution. On June 1, 1950, the Rt. Rev. Charles Avery Mason, Bishop of Dallas, took over the school. Daniel Baker College was also called "The Episcopal... Read More »

(Mar. 20, 1939-Aug. 20, 1965). An Episcopal seminarian killed while working in the civil rights movement in Hayneville, near Selma, Alabama. Daniels was born in Keene, New Hampshire. He had a profound conversion experience on Easter Day, 1962, at the Church of the Advent, Boston. He entered the... Read More »

(b. Aug. 18, 1587). The first child born of English parents in America. She was the granddaughter of Governor John White of Virginia and the child of his daughter Ellinor and her husband Ananias Dare. She was baptized on Aug. 20, 1587, on Roanoke Island. She was probably the first person baptized... Read More »

(1780-Apr. 1852). Priest who sought to found an evangelical Episcopal Church. He was born in Stepney, Maryland. Dashiell was licensed as a lay reader at the age of twenty. He was ordained deacon on June 9, 1805, and subsequently ordained priest (date unavailable). He served churches in Maryland and... Read More »

(d. c. 601). A saint and founder of monasteries. Although little is known about David, he remains one of the most popular British saints. He became the Bishop of Menevia in southwest Wales, and was also the abbot of a monastery in Menevia which practiced an extreme form of monasticism in the... Read More »

(Mar. 1, 1907-July 10, 1985). Church historian. He was born in Newport, Rhode Island. Dawley received his Ph.B. in 1929 and his M.A. in 1931 from Brown University. He received his B.D. in 1936 from the Episcopal Theological School and remained there for two additional years as Phillips Brooks... Read More »

(d. Dec. 5, 1761). Commissary to Virginia and president of William and Mary College. Dawson came to Virginia at an early age. He was educated at William and Mary College. Dawson served as master of the Indian School at William and Mary College from 1738 until 1755. At this time he also studied for... Read More »

(1704-July 24, 1752). Commissary and president of William and Mary College. Dawson was born in Aspatria, Cumberland County, England. He received his B.A. in 1725 and his M.A. in 1728 from Queens' College, Oxford University. He was ordained deacon and priest, and in 1729 came to Virginia to be... Read More »

Canonical offices other than matins, including lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers, and compline. These day hours of the church are traditionally included in an office book known as the Diurnal. Matins was the traditional night office. By the fourth century, the monks were joined by the... Read More »

(Aug. 1, 1914-May 5, 1984). Editor and ecumenist. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1935, he was employed in Milwaukee by The Living Church magazine. He soon became managing editor and then acting editor in the frequent absence of the editor, Clifford P. Morehouse. In 1941 Day married the... Read More »

Days when Christians traditionally abstained from eating meat. Roman Catholics prior to Vatican Council II distinguished fast days on which the quantity of food consumed was reduced (e.g., the weekdays of Lent), and days of abstinence on which meat was not eaten (e.g., Fridays). The 1928 BCP in its... Read More »

Days in the calendar of the church year for which a liturgical observance is allowed but not required (BCP, pp. 17-18). Sundays, principal feasts, and other holy days always take precedence over any optional days or festivals. Days of optional observance include the various commemorations in the... Read More »

Term used in the table of precedence in the BCP to describe the weekdays of Lent and Holy Week (except the feast of the Annunciation) and the Fridays of the year, except for Fridays in Christmas and Easter seasons, and any Feasts of our Lord which occur on a Friday. They are observed by "special... Read More »

Judge Samuel De Veaux (De Voe) (1789-1852) left a bequest of all his residuary estate for the foundation of "a benevolent institution under the supervision of the Convention" of the Diocese of Western New York. Under the provisions of this will De Veaux College was founded in Niagara Falls, New... Read More »

Deacons are members of one of three distinct orders of ordained ministry (with bishops and presbyters). In the Episcopal Church a deacon exercises "a special ministry of servanthood" directly under the deacon's bishop, serving all people and especially those in need (BCP, p. 543). This... Read More »

" A communion service led by a deacon. After the liturgy of the word, the deacon administers communion to a congregation from the reserved sacrament. The service became popular in the Episcopal Church in the 1950s and 1960s. Because the 1928 BCP did not provide for this service, many deacons made... Read More »

Following the example of German Lutherans in the early nineteenth century, and later of English Anglicans, during 1885-1970 almost five hundred Episcopal women were "set apart" as deaconesses to care for "the sick, the afflicted, and the poor." The 1889 General Convention passed a canon on... Read More »

At a cathedral, the dean is the member of the clergy in charge, although the cathedral is the official headquarters of the bishop. Assisting clergy at a cathedral have the title "Canon." At a seminary, the dean's function is like that of the president of a college or university. The... Read More »

1) Geographical section or area within a diocese. A dean presides at meetings of the lay representatives and clergy of the deanery. 2) House where a dean lives. See Dean (Cathedral, Seminary, College, Deanery).

(Feb. 27, 1867-May 29, 1936). Liturgical scholar and hymn composer. He was born in London, England. Dearmer was educated at Westminster and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was one of the early members of the Christian Social Union, which was established in 1889. After he was ordained deacon and priest... Read More »


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.