An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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"Parish Reports" sent by clergy in colonial America of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) to the secretary of the society. These reports gave statistical information concerning their missionary work. Despite possible inaccuracies, these reports provide useful... Read More »

A trainee in a religious community. After being a postulant, aspirant, or candidate (the vocabulary varies), the novice is prepared for the religious life according to the rules, constitutions, and customs of the community. Novices use this time to deepen their spiritual life and to test whether... Read More »

Director of the process of discernment and formation that leads to the incorporation of new members in a religious order or community. The title refers to the novice guardian's responsibility for training the novices in the novitiate of the religious order or community. The novice guardian... Read More »

The period of training of novices in a monastery or religious community. It may lead to temporary vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience that, in most communities, will be replaced later by final or perpetual vows. It is a time of mutual testing. The community discerns the novice's personal... Read More »


A woman who is a full member of a religious order. The term may be seen as the female equivalent of a monk. The term may be distinguished from a "sister," who is a member of a religious order with an active or mixed expression of community life. See Monastic.

Canticle based on the words of Simeon, who recognized the infant Jesus to be the Messiah at the Presentation of Jesus in the temple by Mary and Joseph (Lk 2:29-32). It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah. When Simeon saw the child... Read More »

Concerning a marriage. The term is from Latin words for "wedding" and "to take a husband." A nuptial blessing is the blessing of the husband and wife at the marriage (BCP, pp. 430-431).

Eucharist celebrated at a marriage. The service for the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage is the liturgy of the word. The eucharist begins with the offertory. Any authorized liturgy for the eucharist may be used (BCP, p. 437). At the offertory, the bride and groom may present the bread and... 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.