An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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From early times certain Christians with charismatic gifts have been recognized to have the power to exorcise. Exorcist was also one of the old minor orders. Originally it designated a person whose liturgical duties included laying hands on catechumens (those preparing for baptism) and energumens (... Read More »

Exhibition of the consecrated eucharistic bread for the purpose of devotion. The practice became common in the fourteenth century. It is an extension of the practice of the elevation of the host to be seen by the people during the words of institution in the eucharist. Popular devotion to the... Read More »

A free-form prayer without text. It may or may not reflect a stream of consciousness of prayer by the one who prays. Considerable preparation may have taken place before the prayer was offered, or the prayer may be a spontaneous expression. Extempore prayer is distinguished from prayers which are... Read More »

Use of oil for the anointing of the sick at the time of death. After the seventh century, western Christianity associated the rites of anointing with penitence and death. This differed from the earlier practice of anointing for healing and recovery from illness. Unction became a rite reserved for... Read More »


See Episcopal Young Church People (EYC).


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.