An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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The altar, also known as the holy table. The term "Lord's table" has been used by those seeking to emphasize the eucharist as a shared meal rather than a sacrifice. All three terms are used with the same meaning in the BCP (see pp. 354, 361). Read More »

Audible intercession virtually disappeared from the Mass in the west during the middle ages, until Cranmer revived it in his "prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church." In Cranmer's 1549 and 1552 versions of the BCP, however, intercession retained its medieval character as a... Read More »

The term is an English translation of several words from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek indicating a person or deity with power and authority. The Hebrew Adon indicates a superior or human master, with Adonai used almost exclusively for divine lordship. The BCP notes that Adonai is used in the Psalms... Read More »

Prayer to be chanted while dressing or arming for battle. It is also known as a breastplate prayer. It is recited for protection while one prepares for physical or spiritual battle. The Hymnal 1982 includes two Celtic loricas, "I bind unto myself today" (Hymn 370) and "Be thou my vision, O Lord of... Read More »

The General Convention of 1895 voted to divide the Diocese of California and establish a new diocese. The new diocese consisted of the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The primary convention of the new diocese met at St. Paul... Read More »

(Apr. 25, 1214-Aug. 25, 1270). The patron saint for the Third Order of St. Francis. Born in Poissy, Louis IX became King of France on Nov. 29, 1226, and ruled until his death. He lived an austere and prayerful life, and embodied the highest ideals of medieval kingship. He sought to live a... Read More »

The Diocese of Louisiana was organized on Apr. 28, 1838, at Christ Church, New Orleans. Philander Chase (1775-1852) organized Christ Church, New Orleans, after a group of Protestants in New Orleans asked Bishop Benjamin Moore in 1805 to send a member of the clergy to start a church. The 1979... Read More »

(Jan. 1, 1903-July 24, 1984). Bishop of South Florida and a key figure in the effort to try Bishop James A. Pike of California for heresy in the mid-1960s. He was born in Buffalo, New York. Louttit received his B.A. from Hobart College in 1925, and his B.D. from the Virginia Theological Seminary in... Read More »

" See Agape.

The term was apparently invented to describe churchmen whose principles were the opposite of "high church." The term "low church" emerged in England in the early eighteenth century. During this period, it was virtually synonymous with "latitudinarian." Low church teaching minimized the authority of... Read More »

A simple celebration of the eucharist in which the celebrant was typically assisted by only one server. The entire liturgy was said, not sung. The priest typically read all the lections and led all the prayers. The celebrant thus took over the prior liturgical roles of the deacon, lector, cantor,... Read More »

The Sunday after Easter, the Second Sunday of Easter. The term may reflect the somewhat less intense celebration of the day relative to the great feast of Easter on the preceding Sunday. Many parishes experience lower attendance on Low Sunday than on Easter Day.

(Oct. 31, 1860-Jan. 18, 1927). Founder of the Girl Scouts. She was born in Savannah, Georgia. Low was educated at Stuart Hall and Edge Hill in Virginia, and at the Mesdemoiselles Charbonnier's in New York City. She was a lifelong member of Christ Church, Savannah. In 1911 Low met the founder... Read More »

This method of scriptural analysis, most often called text criticism, focuses on the Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic text of a particular portion of scripture. It works from the conclusion that we do not have any original copies of any scriptural material. When one manuscript is not exactly the same as... Read More »

(Apr. 26, 1868-Aug. 12, 1959). Kierkegaardian theologian and translator. He was born in Philadelphia. Lowrie received his B.A. in 1890, and his M.A. in 1893, both from Princeton University. He studied in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland in 1893-1894. Upon his return home he joined the Episcopal... Read More »

"Toryism" in the American colonies at the time of the American Revolution was virtually synonymous with "Loyalism." The term described those who were critical of colonial resistance to British imperial authority and remained loyal to the Crown. Evidences of such "loyalty" appeared tentatively in... Read More »

Beginning in 1549, a person ordained in the Church of England was required to swear an Oath of Loyalty to the sovereign. In the liturgy for ordaining deacons, the ordinand had to say: "I, A. B., utterly testify and declare in my conscience, That the King's Highness is the only Supream Governour of... Read More »

Lucernarium is the singular form and Lucernaria the plural of the Latin word for "light." In the BOS and The Hymnal 1982 (S 305-S 320 in the Accompaniment Edition, Vol. 1), the term is used for the optional anthems which may be sung during the lighting of candles in the Order of Worship for the... Read More »

(St. Luke was a Gentile, and the traditional author of the Gospel According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. He was a physician and is identified with the church's ministry of healing. In Col 4:14, he is described as "the beloved physician." Many Episcopal hospitals have the name of St.... Read More »

A holder for the consecrated host in a monstrance, typically used for the service of Benediction. It is also known as a lunette. The luna fits into the back of the monstrance and holds the host in an upright and visible position. The host is seen through the transparent glass, but it does not touch... Read More »

An ecumenical principle set forth by the 1952 Faith and Order Conference of the World Council of Churches held at Lund, Sweden, and officially endorsed by Lambeth in 1968. This ecumenical principle was given specific shape for the Episcopal Church by the 1976 General Convention: "that the Episcopal... Read More »

See Luna.

See Holy Water.

This purificatory rite or sacrifice may involve the ceremonial cleansing of a person, a house, a city, an army, or a whole people. The BOS provides a form for the Restoring of Things Profaned.

(Nov. 10, 1483-Feb. 18, 1546). Founder of the sixteenth-century Reformation in Germany. He was born in Eisleben, Thuringia, Germany. Luther was baptized on Nov. 11, 1483, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, and named after the saint. He received his M.A. in Feb. 1505 from the University of Erfurt. On... Read More »

A volume of theological essays edited by Charles Gore, principal of Pusey House, Oxford. It was published in 1889 in England. The collection was subtitled A Series of Studies in the Religion of the Incarnation, and it sought to interpret the doctrinal tradition of the church so that Christians... Read More »


See Septuagint.

A covered gateway to a church yard or church property where a coffin containing a corpse is set down prior to burial to await the assembly of the mourners, the pall bearers, and the officiating minister. The formation of the funeral procession and the funeral service will follow this gathering at... 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.