An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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The 1883 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of North Carolina. The primary convention of the new diocese met Dec. 12-13, 1883, at Christ Church, New Bern, and chose the name the Diocese of East Carolina. It includes the following counties: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden,... Read More »

The General Convention of 1982 voted to divide the Diocese of Tennessee into three Dioceses-Tennessee, East Tennessee, and West Tennessee. The Diocese of East Tennessee held its primary convention on Oct. 5-6, 1984, in Knoxville. The diocese includes the following counties: Anderson, Bledsoe,... Read More »

The feast of Christ's resurrection. According to Bede, the word derives from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eostre. Christians in England applied the word to the principal festival of the church year, both day and season. 1) Easter Day is the annual feast of the resurrection, the pascha or... Read More »

The Saturday before Easter. In the early church it was a day of fasting and preparation for the Easter Vigil. There is no celebration of the eucharist on this day, in accordance with church tradition. The term "Easter Even" was used by the 1549 Prayer Book. The 1979 BCP uses the title "Holy... Read More »

The liturgy intended as the first (and arguably, the primary) celebration of Easter in the BCP (pp. 284-95). It is also known as the Great Vigil. The service begins in darkness, sometime between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter, and consists of four parts: The Service of Light (... Read More »

Byzantine or Eastern Rite churches which retain their rites, canons, customs, and national language, but are in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. They include Albanian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Chaldean, Coptic, Ethiopian, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Italo-Albanian, Malabarese, Malankarese... Read More »

On May 29, 1810, representatives from New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts (at that time including Maine) met at Boston and organized the Eastern Diocese. This was not a diocese in the regular sense, but an arrangement whereby four weak dioceses could work together. On May 29,... Read More »

The General Convention of 1994 voted to divide the Diocese of Michigan. The new diocese consists of the following counties: Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Cheboygan, Crawford, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Iosco, Lapeer, Midland, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon,... Read More »

On Oct. 11, 1910, the General Convention formed this missionary district. It consisted of the counties lying east of the west line of the counties of Creek, Johnston, Marshall, Okfuskee, Osage, Pontotoc, and Seminole. It had only one bishop. On Oct. 10, 1919, the House of Bishops reunited it with... Read More »

The General Convention of 1907 voted to divide the Diocese of Oregon and form the Missionary District of Eastern Oregon. It was a missionary district from 1907 to 1971. The primary convention of the Diocese of Eastern Oregon met at the Church of the Redeemer, Pendleton, Nov. 19-21, 1971. It... Read More »

Another term for Easter season, the Great Fifty Days. As used in English-speaking churches, "tide" is an old word meaning a festival and its season.

(Dec. 4, 1877-Mar. 7, 1950). Seminary professor and NT scholar. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Easton studied first at the University of Göttingen in Germany. He subsequently received his B.S. in 1898 and his Ph.D. in 1901, both from the University of Pennsylvania. While teaching mathematics... Read More »

The General Convention of 1868 voted to divide the Diocese of Maryland and form a new diocese. The primary convention of the new diocese met at Christ Church, Easton, on Nov. 19-20, 1868, and adopted the name Diocese of Easton. On May 25, 1894, Trinity Church, Easton, was set apart as Trinity... Read More »

The posture of the presider who stands at the altar with his or her back to the people. In churches oriented with the altar at the east end, as was once customary, the presider would thus be facing east. The practice originated in Rome in the eighth or ninth century. It replaced the ancient... Read More »

The 1928 General Convention voted to create a new diocese from the dioceses of Fond du Lac and Milwaukee. The primary convention of the Diocese of Eau Claire was held at Christ Church, Eau Claire. It consists of the following counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark,... Read More »

The term (Hebrew ebion, "poor") refers to a sect of Jewish Christians who upheld the Jewish law and rejected Paul's teaching and ministry to the uncircumcised. They lived an ascetic, communal life east of the Jordan in the early centuries of the Christian era. They regarded Jesus as the... Read More »

Canticle based on Is 12:2-6, which celebrates the return of Israel from exile. It begins, "Surely it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid." Isaiah 12:1-6 presents two songs: Is 12:1-3 is a song of deliverance, and Is 12:4-6 is a song of thanksgiving. The canticle Ecce, Deus is... Read More »

The term is the Latin transliteration of the Greek ekklesia, which indicated a civic assembly. The word was derived from the Greek for "call out" or "summon," so it was a "called assembly." In biblical usage it meant the assembly called by God, the church. Because of the Incarnation, in which the... Read More »

Of or pertaining to the church.

From the Greek ekklesia, "church," and logia, "doctrine," the term refers to the doctrine of the church. The Greek word ekklesia (from ek, "out of," and kalein, "to call") describes the church as those "called out" by God from worldly existence to a new life in Christ. The account of the origin of... Read More »

See Trinity.

The House of Bishops established the Missionary District of Ecuador on Oct. 27, 1966. It became the Diocese of Ecuador on Jan. 1, 1980. The General Convention of 1985 voted to divide the Diocese of Ecuador and established the Central Diocese of Ecuador and the Litoral Diocese of Ecuador. The... Read More »

The House of Bishops established the Missionary District of Ecuador on Oct. 27, 1966. It became the Diocese of Ecuador on Jan. 1, 1980. The General Convention of 1985 voted to divide the Diocese of Ecuador and established the Central Diocese of Ecuador, which is the continuation of the Diocese of... Read More »

This journal began publication in Winter 1965/1966. It was originally published by the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. After Mar./Apr. 1976, it was issued in cooperation with the Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical Officers. The Handbook for Ecumenism, which was prepared by the Episcopal... Read More »

From NT times the church has relied on the decisions of councils called by recognized authority to settle disputes over doctrine and discipline. When a council involves representative bishops from the whole church, it is called "general." When the decisions of a council are recognized by... Read More »

Inspired in part by the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1880), the ecumenical movement was born at the International Missionary Conference of Edinburgh (1910) as a search for the reunion of Christians. Two organizations were formed: Life and Work, and Faith and Order, which joined together in 1948... Read More »

An association of schools, religious denominations, and other educational institutions. In the early 1950s, the Rev. Dr. Reuel Howe concluded from his years of teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary that clergy were not fully prepared in seminary for ministry. Using the new idea of continuing... Read More »

The term is derived from the Greek oikoumen', "inhabited world." Ecumenical refers to the wholeness of the church. Ecumenical theology is theology especially concerned to recover visible unity for the whole church in the world. Read More »

D(The Doctor of Education degree is for those persons who desire leadership positions in the field of education.

(c. 840-Nov. 20, 870). Christian martyr and King of East Anglia. He became king at the age of fifteen. Edmund was subsequently defeated and captured by an army of invading Danes. The invaders offered to spare his life if he would share his kingdom with a Danish leader. As a Christian, Edmund... Read More »

This is grace that accomplishes its intended result in the human soul, especially in terms of a saving work or salvation. The English reformers affirmed the efficacious nature of the sacraments, urging that they are not mere "badges or tokens of Christian men's profession," but "they be... Read More »

(or Etheria or Aetheria), Pilgrim. Egeria's personal account of her journey to holy places in the Sinai, Palestine, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor around the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century. She was likely an abbess or nun from northern Spain or southern Gaul. An... Read More »

Sunday, the Lord's Day. Sunday is both the First Day and the Eighth Day of the liturgical week. The Christian week has been ordered around the Sunday Eucharist since the days of the early church. Sunday is the day of Christ's resurrection and the day of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The... Read More »

The 1979 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of California and create a new diocese called El Camino Real. The primary convention of the Diocese of El Camino Real was held at St. Paul's Church, Salinas, on June 20-21, 1980. It includes the following counties: Monterrey, San Benito,... Read More »

A hymnal for Hispanic congregations prepared by the Hispanic Ministry Office of the Episcopal Church Center. It was published in 1998 as an ecumenical effort of the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Church of Christ. It has more than 500 hymns, songs, choruses, psalms... Read More »

The House of Bishops created the Missionary District of El Salvador on Sept. 18, 1967, and assigned jurisdiction to the Missionary Bishop of Guatemala. It became the Diocese of El Salvador on Jan. 1, 1980. On Mar. 28, 1992, the Rt. Rev. Martin de Jesus Barahona was consecrated bishop. He was the... 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.