An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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(See Master of Ceremonies, or M.C.

Master of Arts. The degree requires a bachelor's degree and can be either a research program or a general academic program. Read More »

A.R(Master of Arts in Religion. The degree requires a bachelor's degree and can be either a research program or a general academic program. Read More »

(Master of Arts in Religious Education. The degree requires a bachelor's degree and equips persons for competent leadership in educational ministry. Read More »

(The Master of Church Music degree presupposes a bachelor's degree and is designed to develop leaders of musical activities in the church. Read More »

Master of Divinity. The degree presupposes a bachelor's degree and is designed to prepare persons for ministry in the church and synagogue. It has replaced the B.D. (Bachelor of Divinity) degree. Read More »

R.E.( Master of Religious Education. The degree presupposes a baccalaureate degree and is designed to train persons for leadership in educational ministry.

S.M. (Master of Sacred Music. The degree presupposes a bachelor's degree and is designed to develop leaders of musical activities in the church. Read More »

T.S.( Master of Theological Studies. The degree requires a bachelor's degree and can be either a research program or a general academic program. Read More »

See Virge.

(c. 327-c. 379). Superior of a religious community of women, ascetic, spiritual director, and older sister of the Cappadocians Basil of Caesarea (c. 330-379) and Gregory of Nyssa (c. 331-c. 395). She was strongly influenced by Macrina the Elder (d. 340), her paternal grandmother. After the death of... Read More »

(Aug. 27, 1749-Mar. 6, 1812). The first Bishop of Virginia. He was born in Staunton, Virginia. Madison graduated from William and Mary College in 1771 and studied law for two years before becoming professor of natural philosophy and mathematics at William and Mary in 1773. During the American... Read More »

The Blessed Virgin Mary. The term is from the Italian, "my lady." It also indicates artistic representations of Mary in portraits or statues. The Madonna Lily is the plant Lilium candidum, which is also called the White Lily and the Annunciation Lily. It has white flowers that are trumpet-shaped.... Read More »

Canticle 19 in the 1979 BCP (p. 94), based on Rv 15:3-4. It begins, "O ruler of the universe, Lord God, great deeds are they that you have done, surpassing human understanding." It is also known as the Song of the Redeemed. In this heavenly vision, the victorious faithful sing the Song of Moses and... Read More »

This song of praise, also known as "The Song of Mary," is from the account in Lk 1:46-55 of Mary's visit to her relative Elizabeth when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist. It is attributed to Mary in the Lucan narrative, but a minority of ancient... Read More »

(May 24, 1819-Sept. 3, 1870). Historian, educator, and high churchman. He was born in Suffolk, Virginia. Mahan studied at the Flushing Institute, Long Island, and then taught Greek at the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. His admiration of the Oxford Movement displeased Bishop William... Read More »

This diocese was organized on May 3, 1820, at Brunswick. From 1811 until 1820 Maine was in the Diocese of Massachusetts, which was in the Eastern Diocese. On Sept. 5, 1820, the newly formed Diocese of Maine joined the Eastern Diocese and remained in it until Bishop Alexander Griswold's death... Read More »

Major celebrations of the church year for which the Prayer Book appoints proper collects, psalms, and lessons. They include the seven principal feasts (Easter Day, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, All Saints' Day, Christmas Day, and the Epiphany), Sundays, and major holy days (... Read More »

The term traditionally refers to the holy orders of bishop, priest, and deacon. The major orders were distinguished from minor orders such as porter (doorkeeper), lector, exorcist, and acolyte. The subdiaconate was considered a minor order until it was included among the major orders by Pope... Read More »

(May 21, 1911-Sept. 1, 1983). Prayer Book revision coordinator. He was born in Tiflis, in the Russian province of Georgia. Malania received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1934. He studied at the George Mercer School of Theology. Malania was ordained deacon on Feb. 27, 1965, and priest... Read More »

A series of conversations between prominent Roman Catholic and Anglican figures. The conversations were held between 1921 and 1925 in Malines, Belgium, under the presidency of its Cardinal Archbishop, D. J. Mercier, at the instigation of Charles Lindley Wood, Second Viscount Halifax. Wood published... Read More »

See Prayer Book Society.

This dualistic heresy was named after Manes, a third-century Babylonian. He taught that matter is evil and salvation consists in freeing the human soul from its commingling with the physical body. The soul was understood to return to an original state of separation from everything material in a... Read More »

A eucharistic vestment, typically an oblong band of silk or linen, worn above the left wrist. The maniple is usually of the same color and material as the eucharistic stole. Its earliest use was as a handkerchief held in the left hand. It later became an ornament of secular rank. Although it may... Read More »

(May 12, 1866-Nov. 18, 1949). Tenth Bishop of New York. Manning was born in Northampton, England. In 1882 his family came to the United States, and in 1888 Manning entered the College of the University of the South and enrolled in its School of Theology at the same time. In 1894 he was granted the... Read More »

(Feb. 21, 1905-July 5, 1987). Episcopal Church historian, author, and seminary professor. He was born in Syracuse, New York. Manross received his B.A. from Hobart College in 1926; his S.T.B. from the General Theological Seminary in 1931; and his M.A. in 1930 and his Ph.D. in 1938, both from... Read More »

( An American Indian whose baptism on Aug. 13, 1587 is regarded as the first recorded Anglican baptism in the American colonies. Manteo was among a group of Indians captured by English navigators Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe at Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina. Sir Walter Raleigh... Read More »

Any gestures made by the presider or other ministers during a religious service. The term is used specifically to refer to the manual acts required by the rubrics of the BCP during the words of institution in the eucharistic Prayer (e.g., p. 362-363). More extensive manual acts were required by... Read More »

An Aramaic liturgical exclamation, marana tha, used by Paul at 1 Cor 16:22, translated as an eschatological prayer, "Our Lord, come!" (NRSV). It is part of Paul's closing greeting at the end of his First Letter to the Corinthians. It could be read maran atha, and translated as a creedal... Read More »

(d. c. 1585). See Merbecke or Marbeck, John.

Name given to theological doctrines developed and advocated by the second-century Bithynian teacher, Marcion (d. c. 160). He was a Christian by upbringing, but he fell under gnostic influences. In 144 Marcion broke with the Christian church because he could not reconcile the Old and New Testaments... Read More »

(c. 1045-Nov. 16, 1093). Queen of Scotland and reformer credited with removing Celtic influences in the Scottish Church. She was born in Hungary and came to England in 1057. Margaret married King Malcolm III of Scotland around 1067. They had eight children. She used her influence to bring Scotland... Read More »

(Author of the second gospel. He was also known as John Mark. He was the son of Mary of Jerusalem. Although she was a widow, she was a woman of means. She owned a house which was large enough to hold a large Christian gathering, and she had at least one maid. The Last Supper of Jesus and his... Read More »

See Notes of the Church.

The Diocese of Northern Michigan was known as the Diocese of Marquette from Nov. 14, 1895, until June 2, 1937.

The sacramental rite of the church in which two persons "enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows" (BCP, p. 861). The union is understood to be intended by God for their mutual joy; for the... 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.