An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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See Presbyter, Presbyterate.

The lifting up of the eucharistic elements for adoration at the concluding doxology of the eucharistic prayer. This gesture identifies the bread and wine with the sacrifice of Christ. The presider lifts the bread and the deacon lifts the cup, replacing them after the people respond "Amen." The... Read More »

(T. S.) (Sept. 26, 1888-Jan. 4, 1965). Poet and literary critic. He was an American, born in St. Louis and educated at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Merton College, Oxford. He became a British citizen. He worked and wrote in London most of his life. After being raised in the Unitarian tradition and... Read More »

(1207-Nov. 16, 1231). Medieval saint. She was born at Pressburg (Bratislava), Hungary, the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and his queen, Gertrude. In 1221 she married Louis IV, the Landgrave of Thuringia. Elizabeth came under the influence of the Franciscans. After the death of her husband... Read More »

Religious and political arrangements worked out during the reign of Elizabeth I in England. Elizabeth I (1533-1603), daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, became Queen of England in 1558. Religious differences threatened the stability of England at that time. England had been officially... Read More »

(Dec. 16, 1826-June 15, 1893). Hymn writer. He was born in London. He was educated at King William's College on the Isle of Man, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. Shortly after his ordination he began writing hymns for the children of St. Nicholas' Church, Brighton, where he was curate.... Read More »

(Feb. 13, 1905-July 8, 1994). Hymnal editor and music historian. He was born in Thomaston, Connecticut, and received his B.A. from Aurora College in 1926. He received his Master of Music degree in 1934 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1936 from the Eastman School of Music. He taught at... Read More »

(Aug. 31, 1806-Dec. 21, 1866). Bishop and educator. He was born in Beaufort, South Carolina. In the fall of 1822 he entered the sophomore class at Harvard, and the next year he transferred to Carolina College in Charleston. After studying law for two years, he was admitted to the bar in 1827. In... Read More »

A Hebrew word in the plural which occasionally means pagan gods, superhuman creatures, or earthly judges in the OT; but the term usually refers to Israel's one God, Yahweh. Although the word is plural, it typically appears with singular verbs when the term refers to God. The use of the plural... Read More »

One of four sources for the composition of the Pentateuch, according to a theory accepted by many biblical scholars. Known as Documentary Theology, the theory assigns the name Elohist to the source that consistently uses the Hebrew word Elohim for God until the call of Moses in Ex 3, when the... Read More »

(Apr. 13, 1854-Oct. 4, 1943). Social Gospel advocate. He was born in Ripley, New York. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1876 and a Ph.D. from Heidelberg University in Germany in 1879. He taught economics at Johns Hopkins University (1881-1892) and at the University of Wisconsin (1892-... Read More »

Beginning with the founding of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts in 1701, Anglican slave holders sought to incorporate African Americans within the traditions of Anglicanism. In the nineteenth century, evangelicals developed an active, paternalistic ministry among... Read More »

Every postulant or candidate for holy orders in the Episcopal Church is required by canon to report to the bishop four times a year, during the Ember Weeks. The report must be made in person or by letter, and must include reflection on the person's academic experience as well as personal and... Read More »

Three days which occur four times a year: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after St. Lucy's Day (Dec. 13), Ash Wednesday, the Day of Pentecost, and Holy Cross Day (Sept. 14). The name comes from the Latin title Quattuor tempora, meaning "four times." In ancient Italy the times (originally... Read More »

The four weeks in each year during which the Ember Days occur. See Ember Days.

(Sept. 26, 1846-Jan. 9, 1922). Leader of women's ministry. She came to New York in 1874 to edit The Young Christian Soldier. In 1876 she was appointed secretary of the Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions (WA). Emery held that position for the next forty years, resigning in 1916.... Read More »

(Aug. 3, 1849-July 20, 1925). She worked in the national office of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Episcopal Church from 1876 until 1919. She edited The Young Christian Soldier and directed the Auxiliary's program to provide supplies for foreign and domestic missionaries in "mission boxes"... Read More »

(Mrs. Alvi Tabor Twing) (Feb. 23, 1843-Oct. 14, 1901). The oldest daughter of Charles and Susan Hilton Emery, she was appointed secretary of the newly formed Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions in 1871. She was chiefly responsible for the early development of that organization. Though... Read More »

(Sept. 26, 1846-Mar. 1, 1914). She wrote children's stories and edited The Young Christian Soldier, the Episcopal Church's missionary magazine for children, from 1871 until 1875. Julia Chester Emery, Margaret Theresa Emery, and Mary Abbot Emery were her sisters. Read More »

( See Kamehameha and Emma, King and Queen of Hawaii.)

A Hebrew word that means "God is with us." It is mentioned in Is 7:14 as a sign from the Lord and the name of a child to be born. In the NT it is used only in Matthew at the beginning of his gospel as a way of understanding the significance of Jesus. Many scholars have suggested that its mention at... Read More »

The Rev. Dr. Elwood Worcester became the rector of Emmanuel Church, Boston, in 1904, and served there until his retirement in 1929. While at Emmanuel Church he worked on combining religion and science, resulting in a healing ministry which lasted until his retirement. The movement began when... Read More »

(Sept. 5, 1785-Nov. 6, 1860). College president and rector. He was born in Schenectady, New York. Empie was educated at Union College, Schenectady, and decided to enter the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church. He was ordained deacon on July 30, 1809, and began his ministry as assistant at St... Read More »

A British hymnal published in 1906 under the leadership of Percy Dearmer as general editor and Ralph Vaughan Williams as musical editor. A second edition including minor but important changes was published in 1933, and a more comprehensive revision, The New English Hymnal, was published in 1986.... Read More »

An intellectual and cultural development which emphasized the ability of human reason to grasp the ultimate meaning of life and creation in terms of self-evident truths. It was widespread in western Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Enlightenment upheld the autonomy of... Read More »

(c. 1813-June 11, 1902). American Indian priest and missionary. He was born on the north shore of Rice Lake, Ontario, Canada, and was a member of the Chippewa (Ojibwe) Nation. His name means "one-who-stands-before-his-people." After he was baptized by a Methodist preacher he took the name John... Read More »

A collection of supplemental liturgical materials prepared by the Standing Liturgical Commission (1997) and published by Church Publishing Incorporated. It includes resources and forms for Morning and Evening Prayer, Order of Worship for the Evening, the Great Litany, and the Holy Eucharist. The... Read More »

The liturgical gathering of the people as the worshiping community at the beginning of the eucharist. The entrance rite prepares the congregation for the liturgy of the word. Until the fourth or fifth centuries, the eucharistic liturgy typically began with the celebrant's salutation and the... Read More »

(Ephraem) of Edessa (d. June 373). Early church theologian. He was born at or near Nisibis, in modern-day Turkey. Ephrem lived at Nisibis until 363, when he moved to Edessa. He lived there as an anchorite or hermit. He is remembered for his exegetical, theological, and especially poetic writings.... Read More »

The invocation of the active presence of the Holy Spirit in the eucharistic prayer so that the bread and wine may become the body and blood of Christ. The presider at the eucharist may extend his or her hands over the gifts at the epiclesis. The term is based on the Greek word that means "to call... Read More »

A season of four to nine weeks, from the Feast of the Epiphany (Jan. 6) through the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The length of the season varies according to the date of Easter. The gospel stories of this season describe various events that manifest the divinity of Jesus. The coming of the Magi is... Read More »

The manifestation of Christ to the peoples of the earth. The winter solstice was kept on Jan. 6 at some places during the first centuries of the Christian Era. In opposition to pagan festivals, Christians chose this day to celebrate the various manifestations, or "epiphanies," of Jesus... Read More »

1) Concerning the Episcopal Church. Used in this sense, the adjective "Episcopal" is always capitalized. For example, "The Episcopal liturgy will be used at the wedding." Similarly, "The Episcopal priest attended the ecumenical gathering." 2) Concerning a bishop or bishops. Used in this sense, the... Read More »

This school was founded at Cheshire, Connecticut, in 1794 to "serve the double purpose of a preparatory school and a university." Sometimes it was referred to as "Seabury University." The academy opened in 1796 and admitted boys and girls until 1836, when it became a boys' school. It never... Read More »

The vestry of Christ Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded The Episcopal Academy on Jan. 1, 1785. It opened on Apr. 4, 1785. The president of the board of trustees was the rector of Christ Church, the Rev. William White. Among the founders were Robert Morris and Francis Hopkinson, signers... Read More »

This ministry was started at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Minneapolis, in 1978. The Rev. Dr. George Harvey Martin, the rector, asked for help from advertising professionals to write ads which would invite people into the Episcopal Church. Martin asked for help from Tom McElligott, Jr., the son... 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.