An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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A boarding school for boys in fifth through eighth grades who sing in the choir of St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It was founded in 1919 under the direction of Dr. T. Tertius Noble, organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas Church. It is one of the few remaining choir schools of... Read More »

This parish was organized on Dec. 25, 1823. The first church building was constructed in 1824-1825, at the corner of Broadway and Houston Street. The present building, erected in 1868-1870, and designed by Richard Upjohn, is at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street. The cornerstone... Read More »

See Commissions of the General Convention; See Standing Commissions alphabetized by subject.

The ecclesiastical authority of the diocese in the absence of a bishop. The Canons of 1789 made four references to an organization known as the Standing Committee. It formed its duties over the next forty-three years. In 1832 the General Convention brought all the functions of the Standing... Read More »

(Mar. 16, 1902-Oct. 11, 1994). Theologian and professor. He was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Stanley received his B.A. in 1924 and his M.A. in 1925, both from the University of Virginia. He received his B.D. in 1928 from the Virginia Theological Seminary. Stanley was ordained deacon on June... Read More »

(Nov. 12, 1815-Oct. 26, 1902). Women's rights leader. She was born in Johnstown, New York. Stanton graduated from Emma Willard's Female Seminary in Troy, New York, in 1832. She had an early interest in the abolition of slavery and the temperance movement. Stanton attended the World's... Read More »

(First Christian martyr. He was a Hellenist, a Greek-speaking Jew born and reared outside Palestine. His name is Greek, meaning "crown." He was one of the seven chosen by the Jerusalem congregation to see that the Hellenistic Jewish Christians got their fair share of the contributions. Stephen... Read More »

Our personal response to God's generosity in the way we share our resources of time, talent, and money. Stewardship reflects our commitment to making God's love known through the realities of human life and our use of all that God has given us. It is also our service to God's world... Read More »

(Sept. 4, 1880-July 28, 1956). Educator and theologian. He was born in Galveston, Texas. He received his B.A. in 1902 and his M.A. in 1907, both from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. He received his B.D. from the General Theological Seminary in 1906. Stewart was ordained deacon on June 18,... Read More »

Wounds, like those of Christ's, imprinted on the body of a believer by a special act of divine grace or by an involuntary psychosomatic process. Actual self-inflicted wounds are not stigmata. St. Francis of Assisi is said to have received the stigmata in the thirteenth century. The attitude of... Read More »

The emphasis for the last Sunday before Advent is different in the 1979 BCP. Although Christ the King Sunday is not officially celebrated in the Episcopal Church, the collect for the last Sunday of the liturgical year (Proper 29) in the 1979 BCP prays that all the peoples of the earth may be... Read More »

(Jan. 11, 1847-Dec. 14, 1927), and Caroline Phelps Stokes (Dec. 4, 1854-Apr. 26, 1909). Benefactors to African Americans. Both sisters were born in New York City and never married. The family was Presbyterian, but the sisters in later years joined the Episcopal Church. They are primarily known for... Read More »

Payment to clergy for officiating at a church service, usually a baptism, a marriage, or a funeral. The term is derived from the stole typically worn by the member of the clergy person while officiating.

In 1916 Frederick Ebenezer John Lloyd sold his Lloyd's Clerical Directory to the Rev. Andrew David Stowe (1851-1925). It became Stowe's Clerical Directory. It was published under that title in 1917, 1920, 1924, 1926, 1929, 1932, 1935, and 1938. In 1941 it became Stowe's Clerical... Read More »

(Jan. 22, 1895-Jan. 2, 1989). Historian and writer. He was born in Waterville, Minnesota. Stowe received his B.A. in 1915 from the University of Minnesota and his B.D. in 1918 from Seabury Hall Divinity School. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 16, 1917, and priest on Feb. 2, 1919. Stowe was master of... Read More »

(Apr. 26, 1928-Mar. 2, 1985). Theologian, activist, and Episcopal layman. He was born in Cranston, Rhode Island. He attended Bates College and the London School of Economics. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1956. He then began a private legal practice in Harlem, where he lived. He defended... Read More »

(Nov. 11, 1863-Oct. 10, 1920). Missionary to Alaska. He was born in Paddington, London, England. Stuck was educated at King's College, London. In 1885 he came to the United States and became an acting principal in the public schools of San Angelo, Texas. In 1889 he entered the Theological... Read More »

A suffragan bishop is an assisting bishop who does not automatically succeed a diocesan bishop. A suffragan bishop may be elected bishop or bishop coadjutor. In 1814 James Kemp was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Maryland, even though the office was not authorized by the Episcopal Church's... Read More »

These petitionary versicles and responses precede the collects in the Daily Offices (see, e.g., BCP pp. 97-98, 121-122). The suffrages in the BCP are based on those in the Sarum offices, although Suffrages B for Evening Prayer are from a Byzantine evening litany. They are responsive prayers of... Read More »

(May 13, 1842-Nov. 22, 1900). English composer. He was born in London. Sullivan was educated as a chorister in the Chapel Royal (1854-1858), the Royal Academy of Music, and at Leipzig Conservatory. Sullivan was best known for his famous Savoy Operas, with texts by William S. Gilbert. Sullivan was... Read More »

The Summary of the Law includes the two commandments that call for the love of God and the love of neighbor. These commandments appear separately in the OT (Dt 6:5; Lv 19:18). Although there is some precedent in pre-Christian Judaism for bringing these two commandments together, Jesus was... Read More »

The first Episcopal Sunday Church School was opened in 1790 by James Milnor and Jackson Kemper at the United Parish of Christ Church and St. Peter's, Philadelphia. William White was rector of the United Parish at that time. The Sunday School in the Episcopal Church became a conscious instrument for... Read More »

One of the first seven letters of the alphabet, "A" through "g," is assigned to each date in the calendar year (except Feb. 29) in rotation in the Prayer Book calendar (pp. 19-30). The letter "A" is assigned to Jan. 1, Jan. 8, Jan. 15, etc. The letter "b" is assigned to Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, etc... Read More »

This periodical was the second weekly publication in the Episcopal Church. It began publication on Jan. 3, 1818, at Charleston, South Carolina. Its full title was Sunday Visitant; or Weekly Repository of Christian Knowledge. It was edited by the Rev. Andrew Fowler (1760-1850), and published until... Read More »

The person who has been designated as the head or presider of a religious community. The superior is typically elected for a term of years by the members of the community. The superior of an abbey is an abbot or abbess. The term may be used as a title.

A booklet prepared by the Standing Liturgical Commission and published by Church Hymnal Corporation in 1991 to supplement the existing Rite 2 liturgies of the BCP. It includes materials for Morning and Evening Prayer, complete eucharistic prayers, and forms for the eucharistic prayer for use with... Read More »

See Prayer Book Studies; see Supplemental Liturgical Materials (SLM).

(Dec. 1, 1859-Apr. 11, 1942). Priest and liturgist. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Suter received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1881 and his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School in 1885. He was ordained deacon on June 17, 1885, and priest on June 8, 1886. From 1885 until 1912 he... Read More »

(June 18, 1890-Nov. 27, 1977). He was born in Winchester, Massachusetts. Suter received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1912 and his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School in 1914. He was ordained deacon on June 7, 1914, and priest on Apr. 25, 1915. Suter was assistant minister and director... Read More »

A process of congregational self-evaluation for mission and ministry. The name is an acronym for five aspects of church mission as expressed in "The Next Step in Mission": service, worship, evangelism, education, and pastoral care. The Next Step was adopted by General Convention in 1982 at the... Read More »

(Nov. 9, 1846-Jan. 6, 1890). First hearing-impaired person ordained in the Episcopal Church. He was born in Shanghai, China, and lost his hearing as a result of scarlet fever. He studied at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, St. John's College, Cambridge, and in 1872 received his M.A.... Read More »

The function of conscience as a guide to conduct. The term may be derived from the Greek, "consciousness," hence our term conscience. Because of a scribal error, it is often called synderesis or synteresis. Contemporary usage in moral theology concerns the capacity for deciding right or wrong in a... Read More »

This term comes from the Greek synodos, "a meeting" or "a coming together." It means an assembly of bishops or a meeting of church people. Before the Council of Nicaea (325), synod and council were used interchangeably. After the Council of Nicaea, the term "council" was used for an ecumenical... Read More »

See Syneidesis.

An approach to theology that integrates revealed truths and theological reflection into a coherent whole. For example, systematic theology may be applied to consider how salvation in Christ is made available to humanity through the church. The relationships between truths of faith and Christian... 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.