An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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The garment worn by members of classical religious communities. It derives from various forms of male or female dress in the middle ages. Later communities adopted a variant of the clerical black cassock. In recent years many religious communities have simplified the habit, stopped wearing it in... Read More »

The writing of the lives of the saints. It involves studying and comparing the sources, assessing their historical validity and importance, and relating them to their context in contemporary secular history. The primary sources for hagiography include martyrologies, calendars, biographies, prose... Read More »

Prayer addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The first two of its three parts are drawn from the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary at the Annunciation, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" (Lk 1:28, RSV); and Elizabeth's words to Mary at the Visitation, "Blessed are you among... Read More »

On Nov. 3, 1874, the House of Bishops gave its consent to the consecration of James Theodore Holly as Bishop of Haiti and signed a covenant with the Protestant Episcopal Church in Haiti. Holly served as Bishop until his death in 1911. On Oct. 4, 1913, the House of Bishops created the Missionary... Read More »

(c. 1552-Nov. 23, 1616). Priest who developed the theoretical rationale for British colonization of America. He was born in Herefordshire, England. Hakluyt received his B.A. in 1574, and his M.A. in 1577, both from Christ Church, Oxford. Although he was a priest, he was most interested in geography... Read More »

(Oct. 24, 1788-Apr. 30, 1879). Editor, poet, and advocate for social justice. She was born in Newport, New Hampshire. In 1813 she married a lawyer, David Hale, and they had five children. He died in 1822, and she supported the children by writing. Her poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb," published in... Read More »

(Apr. 12, 1847-Feb. 26, 1930). Leader of Anglo-catholicism, committed ecumenist, and author of twenty books, including The Virgin Mother (1894) and The Doctrine of the Church(1909). He was born in Binfield, Berkshire, England. He received his B.A. in 1869 and his M.A. in 1872 from Christ Church,... Read More »

(Dec. 24, 1857-Mar. 12, 1932). Called the "most notable of Anglo-Catholic theologians" in the Episcopal Church, he was born in Ashtabula, Ohio. Hall received his B.A. in 1882 and his M.A. in 1885, both from Racine College. He then studied for the ordained ministry at the General Theological... Read More »

Ancient Hebrew praise-shout. It means "Praise Yah," which is a shortened form of the word "Yahweh." It is translated into Latin as "Alleluia," and translated into English as "Praise the Lord." It appears in Psalms 106, 111-113, 135, and 146-150. With one exception (Ps 135:3), it is always found at... Read More »

See All Hallows' Eve. Read More »

The General Convention of 1901 voted to divide China into the Missionary District of Shanghai and the Missionary District of Hankow. On Oct. 11, 1910, the House of Bishops voted to divide the Missionary District of Hankow and create the Missionary District of Wuhu. The Missionary District of Hankow... Read More »

(Sept. 3, 1847-Oct. 29, 1885). Missionary bishop and martyr. He was born in Hurstpierpoint, England. Hannington received his B.A. in 1873 and his M.A. in 1875, both from St. Mary's Hall, Oxford. Six years after his ordination to the priesthood in 1876, he volunteered to be a Church Missionary... Read More »

(Mar. 27, 1807-Oct. 21, 1873). One of the first two Episcopal missionaries to China. He was born in Durham, Charles County, Maryland. Hanson graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1833. He was ordained deacon on May 19, 1833, and priest on May 30, 1834. On June 1, 1835, he and the Rev... Read More »

A renewal weekend for youth in high school. In some places, early college youth and/or adults who work with youth may attend. It was created in the Diocese of Dallas in the early 1970s, based on the Cursillo model for adults and a Roman Catholic derivative of Cursillo for teens called Search. The... Read More »

(June 17, 1908-May 26, 1981). Church historian. He was born in New York City. Hardy received his B.A. in 1923, his M.A. in 1924, and his Ph.D. in 1931, all from Columbia University. In 1933 he received his S.T.B. from General Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 21, 1929, and priest... Read More »

(May 16, 1838-Oct. 23, 1909). Bishop and missionary to American Indians. He was born in Princeton, New Jersey. Hare studied at the University of Pennsylvania but never graduated. He studied for the ordained ministry on his own, while teaching at St. Mark's Academy, Philadelphia. Hare was... Read More »

(b. June 12, 1930). First female bishop in the Anglican Communion. She was born in Philadelphia. Harris studied at the Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and Journalism at Villanova University, and at the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, England. Harris worked for 14 years with the Sun Oil... Read More »

The Diocese of Central Pennsylvania was named the Diocese of Harrisburg from Nov. 29, 1904, until Apr. 30, 1971.

The medieval English term for Christ's descent to hell and victory over Satan. Christ's descent to hell or the place of the dead after his death on the cross is mentioned or suggested by several NT sources, including Mt 12:40; Acts 2:24, 31; Rom 10:7; Eph 4:9; Col 1:18; and possibly 1 Pt... Read More »

(June 4, 1845-Feb. 25, 1917). Secretary of the House of Bishops and dean of the Berkeley Divinity School. He was born in Saybrook, Connecticut. Hart received his B.A. from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1866, and his B.D. from the Berkeley Divinity School in 1869. He was ordained deacon... Read More »

(b. July 19, 1927). A leading liturgical scholar of the twentieth century. He was born in Monroe, South Carolina. His father was a Methodist pastor. Hatchett was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in Dec. 1946 while a student at Wofford College, where he received his B.A. in 1947. He received his B.... Read More »

(Sept. 13, 1827-Aug. 23, 1863). One of the best known popular Episcopal writers of morally instructive novellas in the nineteenth century. She was born in Hudson, New York. She married Joseph C. Neal of Philadelphia on Dec. 12, 1846. He was editor of Neal's Saturday Gazette and Lady's... Read More »

The 1901 General Convention formed the Missionary District of Honolulu, and on Mar. 9, 1902, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Honolulu, was consecrated. On Sept. 4, 1969, the General Convention voted to reconstitute the Missionary District of Honolulu as the Diocese of Hawaii. The primary convention of... Read More »

(June 10, 1798-Sept. 27, 1866). Early historian of the Episcopal Church, and a popular preacher. He was born in New Bern, North Carolina. Hawks graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1815, and then studied law. After practicing law for a while, he studied under William Mercer Green.... Read More »

A collection of seventeen Negro spirituals collected by Carl W. Haywood (b. 1949). It was published in 1992. These Negro spirituals were all included in Lift Every Voice and Sing II, An African American Hymnal (1993). The Haywood Collection of Negro Spirituals was a continuation of the work of... Read More »

(Mar. 6, 1666-Mar. 1, 1720). Leading churchman in New York. He was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. Heathcote came to New York in 1691 and soon became a wealthy merchant and a councilor of the province. In 1692 he became a colonel in the militia. He was the leading layman in the... Read More »

Eternal life in our enjoyment of God (BCP, p. 862). The unending fulfillment of salvation and happiness in relationship with God. Heaven has been equated with the beatific vision, and described in terms of perfect bliss and union with God. Many Christians emphasize heaven as a state of completed... Read More »

(Apr. 21, 1783-Apr. 3, 1826). British bishop and hymn writer. He was born in Malpas, Cheshire, England. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and a Fellow of All Souls. After his ordination in 1807, Heber served in parishes in England. In 1815 he delivered the noted Bampton Lectures. In... Read More »

Eternal death in our rejection of God (BCP, p. 862). This state or place of separation from God is closely related to the concept of human free will. We may choose to accept or reject God. We will not be forced by God to receive God's love. Hell is a permanent state of separation from God that... Read More »

(1681-Aug. 27, 1751). Commissary to Maryland. He was born in Ireland. Henderson was ordained by the Bishop of London in 1710 and appointed to a mission in Dover, Kent County, Maryland. He returned to England in 1711 and was appointed in 1712 to the mission on the western shore of Maryland in Queen... Read More »

In 1618 the London Company ratified a former grant whereby a suitable place at Henrico, Virginia, was set aside to establish a university. Ten thousand acres were allotted for endowing the university. George Thorpe was sent from England to supervise the construction. The Rev. Thomas Bargrave (d.... Read More »

Heraldry is the science of devising appropriate "bearings" (emblems) for military armor and determining the right of persons to certain arms or bearings through genealogical study. Heraldry has also been applied to the seals and coats-of-arms of religious organizations. In 1307 religious... Read More »

(Apr. 3, 1593-Mar. 1, 1633). A priest considered to be one of the chief devotional poets of the Anglican Communion. Herbert was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was public orator at Cambridge in 1620. This position could have led to high public office. However, he... Read More »

The term is derived from the Greek hairesis, which means "choice" or "thing chosen." Traditionally, heresy was the sin of a baptized and professing Christian who denied a defined doctrine of the faith. Heresy is distinguished from apostasy, the abandonment of the church by one who denies the church... Read More »

(1477-1552). He was Archbishop-elector of Cologne, and he called a provincial council in 1536 to institute reforms. The canons enacted there were published in 1538 with an Encheridion (handbook or manual) based on the Apostles' Creed, the seven sacraments, the Lord's Prayer, and the... Read More »

A person who lives alone for religious reasons. The term is from the Greek for "wilderness" or "uninhabited regions." Hermits often live in a place that is remote from others. They may be distinguished from anchorites who live in a cell near a community. Hermits typically live contemplative lives... 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.