An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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A small gable or gable-shaped canopy over a tabernacle.

Archangel accorded the highest rank after Michael the Archangel in Jewish theology. The Book of Daniel (chs. 8 and 9) records that Gabriel helped Daniel to understand his visions. Gabriel tells Zechariah of the coming birth of his son John the Baptist and announces the conception of Jesus to Mary (... Read More »

(Nov. 25, 1785-June 24, 1852). Bishop and early advocate of a general seminary to educate clergy. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina. Gadsden graduated from Yale College in 1804, and then returned to South Carolina to study theology. He was ordained deacon on July 25, 1807. He began his... Read More »

(Sept. 17, 1856-Oct. 3, 1935). Educator and Presiding Bishop. He was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Gailor received his B.A. in 1876 from Racine College, where he was the valedictorian, and his S.T.B. from the General Theological Seminary in 1879. He was ordained deacon on May 15, 1879, and priest... Read More »

(June 3, 1822-Aug. 27, 1902). Father of Episcopal missionary work among the hearing impaired. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He received his B.A. in 1842 and his M.A. in 1845 from Washington College (Trinity), Hartford. From Sept. 1843 until Oct. 1, 1858, he taught in the New York... Read More »

(Apr. 24, 1929-May 20, 1993). Author, editor, musician, and lay leader of the liturgical movement in the Episcopal Church. He was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and his M.A. from New York University. Galley was a member of the Church Army... Read More »

The first periodical published by the Episcopal Church in the Midwest. Its founder and sponsor was Bishop Philander Chase, the first Bishop of Ohio. When it was first published on May 28, 1830, it was called the Gambier Observer: Devoted to the Interests of Religion in the Protestant Episcopal... Read More »

(1746-c. 1837). Gantt and Mason Locke Weems were the first two persons ordained in England after Parliament passed an act which allowed the ordination of deacons and priests without the requirement of an oath of allegiance to the English monarch. He was born in Prince George County, Maryland, and... Read More »

(1685-Sept. 27, 1756). Third Commissary to North and South Carolina. He was born and educated in Scotland. Garden became a priest in the Church of England. He came to the American colonies in 1719. Shortly after his arrival, he became rector of St. Philip's Church, Charleston, South Carolina.... Read More »

(Nov. 5, 1882-Sept. 16, 1944). Lay ecumenical leader. He was born in Newton, Massachusetts. Gardiner received his B.A. in 1903, his M.A. in 1904, and his law degree in 1907 from Harvard University. He was a major in World War I, commanding the 3rd Battalion, 303rd Field Artillery in France. In 1928... Read More »

The term is from the Old French for "throat" or "gullet" and related to the word for "gargle." It was originally a projecting waterspout used in gothic architecture to throw water from the roof gutter or upper part of a building or tower. It protected the building by throwing water away from the... Read More »

(Nov. 4, 1832-Feb. 19, 1924). Presiding Bishop and missionary. He was born in Ballymot, County Sligo, Ireland. Garrett received his B.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1855. He was ordained deacon on July 6, 1856, and priest on July 5, 1857. He held the curacy of East Worldham, Hampshire, until... Read More »

A grassy quadrangle or garden surrounded by a cloister walk in a monastery, church, seminary, or college.

The third Sunday of Advent in the Roman Catholic calendar of the church year. The term is derived from the Latin opening words of the introit antiphon, "Rejoice (Gaudete) in the Lord always." The theme of the day expresses the joy of anticipation at the approach of the Christmas celebration. This... Read More »

(Oct. 31, 1890-Mar. 20, 1938). He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Gavin received his A.B. from Cincinnati University in 1912; and his M.A. in 1914 and Ph.D. in 1922 from Columbia University. In 1915 he received his S.T.B. from the General Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon on May 15, 1914,... Read More »

The earliest source of a number of collects and other forms in the BCP. A sacramentary is a liturgical book which contains those parts of the rites (Daily Offices, Eucharist, and Pastoral Offices) read by the celebrant. The oldest known Roman Sacramentary is the Leonine or Verona Sacramentary which... Read More »

The General Convention of 1970 created this board to standardize the process of canonical examination for ordination. The GBEC includes four bishops, six clergy with pastoral cures or in specialized ministries, six members of accredited seminary faculties or of other educational institutions, and... Read More »

The national legislative body of the Episcopal Church. It consists of a House of Bishops, which includes all active and retired bishops, and a House of Deputies, which includes four lay persons and four clergy from each diocese, each area mission, and the Convocation of the American Churches in... Read More »

At the 1967 General Convention in Seattle, Washington, Presiding Bishop John E. Hines called on the Episcopal Church to "take its place humbly and boldly alongside of, and in support of, the dispossessed and oppressed peoples of this country for the healing of our national life." In response to... Read More »

The General Convention of 1970 created the General Board of Examining Chaplains (GBEC), with responsibility to prepare at least annually a General Ordination Examination covering 1) The Holy Scriptures; 2) church history, including the ecumenical movement; 3) Christian theology; 4) Christian ethics... Read More »

The BCP includes two prayers of General Thanksgiving. The traditional prayer of General Thanksgiving was composed by Edward Reynolds (1599-1676), Bishop of Norwich. It was possibly inspired by a private prayer of Queen Elizabeth that was issued in 1596. Prior to the 1604 revision of the Prayer Book... Read More »

The oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church, founded by the 1817 General Convention. By 1827 it was located at "Chelsea Square," in New York City, part of the family estate of Clement Clarke Moore. He was the author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" ("'Twas the night before Christmas") and the... Read More »

English translation of the Bible published at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1560. Based on translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale, it was the work of Protestant exiles in Geneva. Its notes reflect Calvinist influence. The Geneva Bible was the first English edition with verse numeration. It... Read More »

See Hobart College, Geneva, New York.

A gesture of reverence in worship. It involves touching a knee briefly to the floor while holding the upper body upright, and then returning to a standing position. It is not required by the Prayer Book at any time. In some parishes it is a customary gesture of reverence for Christ's real... Read More »

, Memorial School of Theology. In Feb. 1955, Bishop James P. DeWolfe initiated a new form for alternative theological training by establishing the School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. It was a program designed for training older men for the ministry. The school met regularly at St.... Read More »

The primary convention of the Diocese of Georgia was held Feb. 24-28, 1823, at St. Paul's Church, Augusta. The first bishop of the diocese was not consecrated until 1841. The diocese left the Protestant Episcopal Church on July 3, 1861, and joined the Protestant Episcopal Church in the... Read More »

Stylized motions of the body, especially the arms and hands, during worship. Along with postures, these natural and instinctive motions express in a nonverbal, kinetic way the meaning of the action. Over the centuries many gestures once made by all the people came to be made only by the presider.... Read More »

Five NT texts form the basis for understanding the gifts of the Spirit, known as the charismata in Greek. These texts include 1 Cor 12:1-14:40, Rom 12:8, Eph 4:11-12, Rom 1:11, and 1 Cor 2:14. The lists of gifts in the NT passages are neither exhaustive nor entirely consistent. Apostles, prophets,... Read More »

See Cincture.

The term is derived from a Latin word meaning "clod" or "soil." Glebes were farm lands set aside for the support of the clergy in American colonies where the Church of England was established. These glebes sometimes included homes, barns, and slaves. Glebes were usually two hundred or more acres.... Read More »

Site of the first episcopal election in the United States. Built around 1750, Glebe House was the rectory for St. Paul's Church, Woodbury. The Rev. John Rutgers Marshall lived there from 1771 until 1785. On Mar. 25, 1783, ten clergy met there and selected Samuel Seabury and Jeremiah Leaming as... Read More »

"Glory in the highest," a short hymn of praise to the Trinity. Its opening verse is based on the song of the angels to the shepherds at the time of Jesus' birth, as reported in Lk 2:14. It is known as the "Angelic Hymn." It is also known as the "Greater Doxology," distinguishing it from the... Read More »

A short acclamation of praise to the Trinity. "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen." The term is from the opening words of the acclamation in Latin. Gloria Patri is also known as the "Lesser... Read More »

"Glory to you, Lord Christ." The term is from the opening words of the statement in Latin. It is the people's response to the announcement of the gospel at the eucharist (BCP, p. 357). It precedes the reading of the gospel. This response at the announcement of the gospel in the Roman rite was... Read More »

Ecstatic utterance as an expression of faith and praise for God. This Greek term designates the phenomenon of "speaking in new tongues" promised in Mk 16:17. For Paul (1 Cor 14:1-20), speaking in tongues is praise of God. It is not edification of the faithful unless an inspired interpreter is... 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.