An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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A new method of interpretation of scripture. "Narrative" refers to a story which has a plot and moves from a beginning to an end. It is applicable to the gospels of the NT and many stories in the OT. Its primary focus is the attempt to recognize the "world of the narrative" instead of pursuing a... Read More »

An entry space, foyer, or anteroom of a church between the door and the nave. The term is from the Greek for a "small case." Historically, the narthex was an enclosed vestibule or porch of a basilica. Catechumens and penitents stood in the narthex during the service. It also may serve as a place... Read More »

A theological seminary of the Episcopal Church in the catholic tradition. It was founded on Aug. 30, 1842, by three young deacons, James Lloyd Breck, William Adams, and John Henry Hobart, Jr., who answered the call of Missionary Bishop Jackson Kemper to serve on the western frontier. At first they... Read More »

This journal first appeared in the Fall of 1960. It was published by Nashotah House. With the Fall 1970 issue the name was changed to Nashotah Review. It ceased publication with the Fall 1976 issue.

A publication of the Bishop Welles Brotherhood at Nashotah House from Dec. 1883 until July/Aug. 1885. With the next issue, the name was changed to the Church Scholiast.

A movement launched by the 1919 General Convention "designed to bring the spiritual and material resources of the Church to bear most effectively and adequately upon her whole task as witness to the Master." It involved a survey of the church's needs and a plan of action to address those needs... Read More »

See Christmas, or Christ's Mass. Read More »

This feast of our Lord is celebrated on June 24 in the Episcopal calendar of the church year. Luke's gospel (Chapter 1) records that John was miraculously born to Zechariah and Elizabeth. They were childless and advanced in age when John was conceived. The angel Gabriel told Zechariah that... Read More »

Universal moral law that is given by God and knowable by human reason. It has been understood in terms of ethics that can be derived from reflection on ordinary human experience and contrasted with law that is divinely revealed. These universal standards provide norms of right conduct that may... Read More »

Article VI of the Episcopal Church Constitution provides for the establishment of an area mission of the church for territory not included within a diocese. The 1976 General Convention authorized all territory in the dioceses of Utah and Arizona lying within the boundaries of the Navajo Indian... Read More »

The place in the church building for the congregation. It is between the sanctuary and the narthex or entry of the church building. The term may be derived from the Latin navis, "ship," which was an early symbol of the church.

(Oct. 22, 1910-Sept. 23, 1989). Leader of the healing movement in the Episcopal Church. She was born in New York. She was educated at Brearly School and David Mannes College of Music, where she trained as a violinist. She married Alvin Neal, who died in 1961. She was a writer, teacher, and "... Read More »

(Jan. 24, 1818-Aug. 6, 1866). British cleric, hymn writer, and translator. He was born in London. Neale was caught up with the ideals of the Oxford Movement while he was at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1839 Neale and Benjamin Webb founded the Cambridge Camden Society. After 1845 it was known as... Read More »

(1662-Sept. 7, 1722). A successful "missionary vestryman" in colonial New York. He was born in France to Huguenot parents. He fled the country in 1679 and became an English citizen. He then came to the colony of New York. In 1692 his ship was seized by the French. He was made a slave and placed in... Read More »

Nebraska College and Divinity School was started at Nebraska City in 1861, the second year of the episcopate of the Rt. Rev. Joseph Cruikshank Talbot (1816-1883), Missionary Bishop of the Northwest. Bishop Robert Harper Clarkson (1826-1884) of Nebraska provided leadership for the school, and called... Read More »

The territory of Nebraska was first under the jurisdiction of Jackson Kemper, Missionary Bishop of Missouri and Indiana. In 1859 it became a part of the jurisdiction of the Missionary Bishop of the Northwest, Joseph Cruikshank Talbot. The 1865 General Convention created the Missionary District of... Read More »

See Charismatic Renewal, or Neo-Pentecostalism.

A heretical teaching that understood Christ to be two persons, one human and one divine. It also held that Mary was not the Mother of God ("Theotokos"), but only the mother of the human Christ. It was named for Nestorius (c. 381-c. 451), who was Patriarch of Constantinople (428-431). Nestorianism... Read More »

The diocese includes the entire state of Nevada. It was preceded by a number of missionary districts. On Oct. 21, 1865, the House of Bishops established the Missionary District of Nevada and parts adjacent with jurisdiction in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. In 1868 the Bishops changed it to... Read More »

The first Roman Catholic Bible translated into English from the original Hebrew and Greek. The work was done by members of the Catholic Biblical Association of America. It was commissioned by the Bishops' Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. It is authorized by the Episcopal... Read More »

This periodical continued The American Church Monthly from Jan. 1938 until Jan. 1939. See American Church Monthly, The.

A weekend retreat for youth aged twelve to fifteen designed to address spiritual and social needs in this age group. It was developed in the Diocese of Central Florida in the late 1980s. The aim is for those who attend to discover new things about themselves, their relationships, God, and the... Read More »

The new relationship with God given by Jesus Christ. The new covenant comes with Christ's promise to bring humanity into the kingdom of God and share the fullness of life with us. In response, we are to believe in Christ and keep his commandments. Love is to be at the heart of our participation in... Read More »

This program began in 1973 when the Joint Committee on Non-Metropolitan Work of the General Convention formed the Leadership Academy for New Directions (LAND). New Directions Ministries was incorporated in 1981 with an elected board of directors and a part-time trainer/program coordinator. New... Read More »

A completely new translation of the Bible, unlike such translations as the Revised Standard Version which stands in the tradition of the King James (Authorized) Bible. Sponsored by the various Protestant communions of the British Isles, it was produced by biblical scholars who were aided by... Read More »

The fire that is kindled at the opening of the Easter Vigil service. This rite typically begins in darkness. The lighting of the new fire often takes place outdoors for reasons of safety. The new fire is kindled before anything is said. The historic practice of kindling the new fire from a kindling... Read More »

This diocese was organized on Aug. 25, 1802, at Concord. On May 29, 1810, representatives from the Diocese of New Hampshire participated in the organization of the Eastern Diocese. The Eastern Diocese was not a diocese in the usual sense, but an arrangement whereby several weak dioceses could work... Read More »

Founded on July 6, 1785, at Christ Church, New Brunswick. The 1874 General Convention voted to divide the diocese. The Diocese of New Jersey includes the following counties: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Salem,... Read More »

The first English edition of The Jerusalem Bible was published in 1966. It was a translation of the French Bible de Jérusalem, done by the École Biblique, the biblical studies institute at Jerusalem. In 1973 a new edition of the Bible de Jérusalem was published, and The New Jerusalem Bible (1987)... Read More »

The name of the Missionary District of New Mexico was changed to the Missionary District of New Mexico and Southwest Texas on Feb. 6, 1932. The primary convention of the Diocese was held at St. Andrew's Church, Boswell, New Mexico, Feb. 10-12, 1953. On Apr. 28, 1973, the name was changed to... Read More »

The latest revision of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) Bible. It was published in 1989 under the authority of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCCCUSA). It was the work of committees of scholars drawn mainly from Protestant churches, but also including Roman Catholic and... Read More »

The collection of 27 early Christian writings accepted as canonical by all Christian confessions and denominations. These writings reveal the witness of the early church to the Christ event as the saving act of God. They include four gospels (accounts of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection),... Read More »

The BOS provides a vigil for New Year's Eve, which is the eve of the Feast of the Holy Name (Jan. 1). It begins with the Service of Light from an Order of Worship for the Evening (BCP, p. 109), using the collect for the First Sunday after Christmas as the Prayer for Light. After the Phos... Read More »

Founded on May 9, 1891, by William Reed Huntington and Mary Abbot Emery Twing, it provided a two-year residential course for women interested in becoming deaconesses, serving as missionaries, or working in Christian education. Shortly after it was founded, a woman's anonymous gift provided a... Read More »

Organized on June 22, 1785, at St. Paul's Chapel, New York City. In 1838 it was divided when the Diocese of Western New York was established. It was the first diocese in the Episcopal Church to be divided. The Diocese of New York was divided again in 1868 when the Diocese of Long Island was... Read More »

On Oct. 10, 1874, the General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of New Jersey and form a new diocese. This diocese included the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren, and the township of Summit in Union County. The primary convention met at Grace Church, Newark... 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.