An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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According to Ex 25-30, 35-40, the Tabernacle was a portable sanctuary of the Israelites. It was constructed at Sinai in connection with the making of the covenant. It was to be a place of sacrifice and worship. Rectangular in shape, the Tabernacle had a wooden framework and was covered with... Read More »

The Missionary District of Taiwan (Formosa) was transferred to the Episcopal Church from the Nippon Seikokai on July 6, 1960. It is now a Diocese of the Episcopal Church.

This form of contemporary liturgical song was first developed for use by the ecumenical Christian community at Taizé, France. It uses repetitive structures that can easily be memorized, along with other parts for solo voices, choirs, and instruments. Jacques Berthier prepared the musical settings... Read More »

(Oct. 9, 1848-Feb. 27, 1928). Fifteenth Presiding Bishop and ecumenist. He was born in Fayette, Missouri. Talbot graduated from Dartmouth College in 1870 and from the General Theological Seminary in 1873. He was ordained deacon on June 29, 1873, and priest on Nov. 4, 1874. From 1873 until 1887, he... Read More »

(1645-Nov. 29, 1727). Leading advocate for a bishop for the American colonies. He was born in Wymondham, Norfolk, England. Talbot studied at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he received his B.A. in 1664 and his M.A. in 1671. He was a fellow of Peterhouse, 1664 to 1668, and was rector of a... Read More »

(Sept. 5, 1816-Jan. 15, 1883). Missionary Bishop of the Northwest. He was born in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1835 Talbot moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and in 1837 was confirmed in the Episcopal Church. He studied for ordination under Bishop Benjamin B. Smith. Talbot was ordained deacon on Sept. 5,... Read More »

(c. 1505-1585). Musician and composer, often called the "father of English Church music." Tallis was possibly born in Kent, England. His early years as a musician were spent in the service of the Roman Catholic Church, primarily at Waltham Abbey from 1538 to 1540 when the monasteries were dissolved... Read More »

See Pange Lingua.

(Aug. 15, 1613-Aug. 13, 1667). Leader among the "Caroline Divines." He was born in Cambridge, England. Taylor studied at Gonville and Gaius College, Cambridge. He was ordained in 1633. He was a fellow at All Souls' College, Oxford, and in 1638 he became rector of Uppingham. Taylor was a... Read More »

Canticle of praise named for its opening words in Latin. It appears as Canticles 7 and 21 in the BCP (pp. 52-53, 95-96). The traditional language Canticle 7 is also known as "We Praise Thee," and the contemporary language Canticle 21 is also known as "You are God." This hymn of praise dates from... Read More »

A cooperative approach to parish ministry in which the entire ministry team shares responsibility for formulating the overall vision of ministry. The ministry team may include youth ministers, Christian education directors, secretaries, musicians, and others, along with the parish clergy. Team... Read More »

(Oct. 15, 1881-Oct. 26, 1944). The only son of an Archbishop of Canterbury to become the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was born in Exeter, England. Temple was educated at Rugby and then at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1904 he became a fellow at Queen's College, Oxford. In 1906 he was refused... Read More »

The section of a service book such as a missal or breviary that provided the variable portions of services for seasons of the church year that were centered on the date of Christmas or Easter, and not the fixed dates of the church calendar. The propers for the fixed holy days appeared in the... Read More »

The commands, also known as the decalogue or Ten Words, given by God at Sinai in connection with the making of the covenant (Ex 20:1-17). Another slightly different version appears in the extended homily Moses delivers shortly before the entrance of the Hebrews into the Promised Land (Dt. 5:6-21).... Read More »

This form of the monastic office (matins and lauds) is commonly adapted for congregational use during Holy Week. The office is structured around psalms, readings, and responsories. A distinguishing characteristic of this service is the series of readings from Lamentations which appear early in the... Read More »

The primary convention of the Diocese of Tennessee was held in Nashville on July 1-2, 1829. The 1982 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of Tennessee into the dioceses of Tennessee, East Tennessee, and West Tennessee. The Diocese of Tennessee includes the following counties: Bedford,... Read More »

Traditional monastic offices that were recited at 9 a.m., "the third hour" (terce), 12 noon, "the sixth hour" (sext), and 3 p.m., "the ninth hour" (none). These canonical hours of the breviary office were known as little hours or little offices. The early Christian church followed the Jewish custom... Read More »

(Mar. 28, 1515-Oct. 4, 1582). Monastic reformer. She was born in Avila, Spain. In 1534 Teresa entered the monastery of the Incarnation of the Carmelite nuns in Avila. While a nun she had numerous visions. In 1559 Teresa had a vision in which she was convinced that Christ was present to her in... Read More »

A member of a third order of a religious community. See Third Order.

(Aug. 28, 1917-June 3, 1991). Bishop and founding director of Trinity Institute, New York. He was born in Cortland, New York. He received his B.A. from Syracuse University in 1939, his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School in 1943, his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1948, and his S.T.M. from... Read More »

A word from Greek meaning "four letters." It refers to the four consonants of the biblical name of God, Yahweh, YHWH. From ancient times it was considered too sacred to be pronounced, and Adonai was substituted for it. The Prayer Book Psalter and the King James OT rendered the name of God "Lord,"... Read More »

From Dec. 8, 1838, until Oct. 16, 1841, the Republic of Texas was under the episcopal jurisdiction of Leonidas Polk, Missionary Bishop of Arkansas and the Indian Territory. Texas was at that time a foreign mission. Polk also served Texas when he was Bishop of Louisiana. On Oct. 26, 1844, George... Read More »

( The Doctor of Theology degree presupposes a first theological degree and is to equip persons for teaching and research in theological seminaries, colleges, and universities.

The Master of Theology degree presupposes the M. Div. degree and is an academic program stressing fuller mastery of resources in one of the theological disciplines.

The Catechism identifies thanksgiving as one of the seven principal kinds of prayer (BCP, p. 856). We offer thanksgiving to God "for all the blessings of this life, for our redemption, and for whatever draws us closer to God" (p. 857). The eucharistic prayer, from the Sursum corda through the... Read More »

A national holiday and day of thanks. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in Nov. This custom is based on the celebration of three days of prayer and feasting by the Plymouth, Massachusetts, colonists in 1621. There was also a Thanksgiving celebration with... Read More »

The BCP (p. 439) states that after the birth or adoption of a child, the parents and other family members should come to the church to be welcomed by the congregation and give thanks to God. It is desirable that this be done at a Sunday service. The BCP provides a form for A Thanksgiving for the... Read More »

Prayer of consecration said over bread and wine at the eucharist. The BCP uses the title "The Great Thanksgiving" as a major subheading in bold typeface for both eucharistic rites (BCP, pp. 333, 361), thus recovering one of the ancient designations for the eucharistic prayer. See Eucharistic Prayer.

A defense of the existence of God despite the presence of evil and suffering in the world. The term was coined by Gottfried W. Leibniz (1646-1716). It is drawn from Greek words meaning God and justice, and it justifies God's omnipotence, omniscience, and benevolence in the face of evil.... Read More »

(602-Sept. 19, 690). Scholar and reformer. He was born in Tarsus, Cilicia, in Asia Minor. Theodore was a lay monk when he was chosen by Pope Vitalian to become Archbishop of Canterbury. After he was ordained a subdeacon, Theodore was consecrated the seventh Archbishop of Canterbury on Mar. 26, 668... Read More »

A person who is knowledgeable concerning theology. Theologians may be members of the clergy or lay people. For example, William Stringfellow (1928-1985) was one of the best known Episcopal theologians of the twentieth century. He was a lay person without advanced academic training in theology.... Read More »

The 1858 Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina authorized a diocesan seminary and elected a board of trustees. It was located in Camden where Bishop Thomas Davis resided. It opened on Jan. 18, 1859, with three students and four faculty members. In Oct. 1859 William Porcher DuBose entered this... Read More »

A virtue is the perfection of a human power or capacity. As distinct from the cardinal virtues which we can develop, the theological virtues are the perfection of human powers given by the grace of God. Cited first in 1 Cor 13:13, faith, hope, and love are described as theological virtues by... Read More »

The term is derived from two Greek words meaning, respectively, "God" and "the study of" or "the knowledge of." It was used prior to the Christian era in Greek philosophy to mean the study of the gods. It became an important term in Christian usage in two senses. First, in the writings of the Greek... Read More »

The term is from two Greek words meaning "God" and "appearance." A theophany is a manifestation of God, usually with both visual and audible elements. For example, God appears to Moses in a burning bush and commissions him to lead the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt (Ex 3:1-12). Later at... Read More »

A term used in the tradition of Orthodox theology to refer to the participation of the human person in the life of God. It is also known as deification or divinization. It means "being made God" and reflects the dominant Orthodox understanding of salvation in Christ. Athanasius urged that God... 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.