An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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(June 22, 1923-Mar. 12, 1987). Church musician, editor, and educator. Born in Troy, New York, Mealy received his B.S. in 1946 from the State University of New York at Potsdam. He studied at the Episcopal Theological School, 1957-1958. He was ordained deacon on Nov. 28, 1959, and priest on May 28,... Read More »

The practice, usually in silence, of fixing attention on a specific word, phrase, image, sound, or text. Some meditative practices produce an emptying of thoughts and emotions. Meditation may lead to an experience of union between the one who meditates and the object of meditation. Meditation... Read More »

A series of notes in plainchant assigned to one syllable of the text.

An acclamation of the people after the institution narrative in the eucharist. For example, in Prayer B, the memorial acclamation is "We remember his death/ We proclaim his resurrection/ We await his coming in glory" (BCP, p. 368). All four Rite 2 eucharistic prayers include a memorial acclamation... Read More »

A flat stone inlay or other solid material that forms the top of an altar. The term is from the Latin for "table."

(c. 1510-c. 1585). English composer and theologian. He is best known as the composer of The booke of Common praier noted (1550) in which he set Prayer Book services to plainsong-like melodies in strict acknowledgment of Archbishop Cranmer's admonition, "for every syllable a note" (see The... Read More »

See George Mercer, Jr., Memorial School of Theology.

(May 10, 1880-Jan. 10, 1969). Scholar of the OT and co-founder of the Anglican Theological Review (ATR). He was born in Bristol, England. Mercer received his B.Sc. from Bishop Field College and Central Training School, St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1900, and his B.D. from Nashotah House in 1904... Read More »

(Brother Louis) (Jan. 31, 1915-Dec. 10, 1968). Spiritual writer and Trappist monk. He was born in Prades, France. Merton studied at Cambridge University, 1933-1934. He received his B.A. in 1938 and his M.A. in 1939, both from Columbia University. He was a nominal Anglican in his younger years but... Read More »

From the Hebrew, "anointed" or "anointed one," indicating a person who has been anointed with oil. Messiah is translated in Greek as christos, and the title "Christ" is derived from it. The one who is ceremonially anointed is understood to be set apart by God with special powers and functions. In... Read More »

A group of Protestant churches founded in England in the eighteenth century on the principles and practices of John Wesley, a priest of the Church of England. Methodism spread from England to the American colonies. It became an important expression of religious life and thought in the New World.... Read More »

(See Cyril and Methodius.)

The Hymnal 1982 Accompaniment Edition, Vol. 2 (pp. 1039-1044) contains a Metrical Index to hymns in The Hymnal 1982. This tool enables use of texts which otherwise might not be usable because the tune linked with the text is unfamiliar or too difficult, or is not suitable for the available... Read More »

A publication in which the psalms are written in regular poetic meters and intended for singing to musical settings in stanzas. The earliest important metrical psalter in English is the "Old Version" or "Sternhold and Hopkins." The first version of nineteen metrical psalms was published about 1547... Read More »

Henry Chauncey Riley (1835-1904) was consecrated the Bishop of the Valley of Mexico on June 24, 1879. He served in that position until he resigned on Apr. 24, 1884. The General Convention of 1904 established the Missionary District of Mexico and elected a Missionary Bishop. In 1972 the House of... Read More »

(12:7-9) describes Michael as the leader of the angels in victory over the dragon (identified with Satan) and the dragon's angels. Michael is often portrayed with a sword fighting or standing over a dragon. Observance of a day in honor of Michael dates from the fifth century. The feast of St.... Read More »

The Diocese of Northern Indiana was known as the Diocese of Michigan City from Apr. 25, 1899, until May 20, 1919. See Northern Indiana, Diocese of.

The primary convention of the Diocese of Michigan met at St. Paul's Church, Detroit, on Sept. 8-10, 1832. The diocese was divided by the General Conventions of 1874, 1892, and 1994. The Diocese of Michigan includes the following counties: Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb... Read More »

(Apr. 30, 1923-Nov. 4, 1997). Theologian and seminary professor. She was born in Seneca Falls, New York. Micks received her A.B. from Smith College in 1945, and her M.R.E. from Columbia University in 1948. In 1957 she and a classmate were the first two women to earn a degree from an Episcopal... Read More »

(June 12, 1848-June 4, 1912). Theologian and seminary professor. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Micou studied at the Universities of Georgia, Alabama, Erlangen, Bavaria, Edinburgh, and the General Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon on June 12, 1870, and priest on Nov. 16, 1872.... Read More »

This small Episcopal Church is under the jurisdiction of the Presiding Bishop, who appoints another bishop to exercise the episcopate there. Bishops appointed by the Presiding Bishop have been the Bishops of Hawaii, Okinawa, and Bishops for the Armed Forces.

(Nov. 24, 1818-Sept. 14, 1875). Priest and theologian. Miles was the leading intellectual figure of the Episcopal Church in the South in the mid-nineteenth century. He was born on his family's plantation in St. Matthew's Parish, Orangeburg District, South Carolina. He attended South... Read More »

The belief that the second coming of Christ will bring a thousand-year reign of justice, happiness, and peace. It is also known as Chiliasm. The term is from the Latin mille, "a thousand." Millenarianism is based on the description in Revelation, Chapters 20-21. Christ and his saints are to rule... Read More »

(June 20, 1773-Apr. 8, 1844). A leading evangelical and an opponent of the Oxford Movement. He was born in Philadelphia and studied law and theology at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1811 to 1813 he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. He was ordained deacon on... Read More »

The clergy in the territory of Wisconsin requested on Apr. 30, 1836, that Wisconsin be put under the jurisdiction of Missionary Bishop Jackson Kemper. The House of Bishops granted this request on Sept. 12, 1838. The Diocese of Wisconsin was organized at St. Paul's Church, Milwaukee, on June 24... Read More »

One who shares in the ministry of the church. The ministers of the church are lay people, bishops, priests, and deacons (BCP, p. 855). Christian ministry is based in baptism, and the promises of the baptismal covenant (BCP, pp. 304-305). All Christian ministers are to represent Christ and his... Read More »

The BCP provides prayers and forms for Ministration at the Time of Death (pp. 462-467). When a person is near death, the minister of the congregation should be notified so the ministrations of the church may be provided. The BCP includes a prayer for a person near death, a Litany at the Time of... Read More »

A pastoral office of the church. In its basic form the service is an abbreviated eucharist, including a rite for laying on of hands and anointing. The priest may suggest the making of a special confession if the sick person's conscience is troubled. The form for the Reconciliation of a... Read More »

From the Latin mini, "lesser." The term has the same form as the Latin magister, from magis, "greater," meaning "master" or "teacher." Ministry appears in the Vulgate translation of Mt 20:26, "he who would be great [Latin, maior] among you, let him be your minister," translating the underlying... Read More »

The title of the Report of the Special Committee on Theological Education which was chaired by Nathan M. Pusey. Ministry for Tomorrow was published by the Episcopal Church Foundation. It was informally referred to as "the Pusey Report." The 1967 General Convention of the Episcopal Church accepted... Read More »

A program area of the Episcopal Church on the national level. It coordinates the ministries of the church in university and college settings.

See Liturgy of the Word.

The Diocese of Minnesota was organized on Sept. 16, 1857, at Christ Church, St. Paul. On July 16, 1862, Bishop Henry Benjamin Whipple laid the cornerstone of the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour at Faribault. This was the first Episcopal cathedral built in the United States. It was consecrated on... Read More »

Ministries such as porter (doorkeeper), lector, exorcist, and acolyte which were transitory steps that led to the major orders of deacon, priest, and bishop. The minor orders date from at least the third century. Ordination to minor orders in the early church included a commission to exercise the... Read More »

Described in the NT as powers, signs, portents, and strange things. A miracle is an event in time that is perceived by the senses of those who witness it. Miracles reflect the direct activity of God which transcends the usual order of nature for a religious purpose. In NT times, miracles were not... 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.