An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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Concerning the Council of Trent. This general council was called by Paul III to give a Catholic answer to the Reformation. It met intermittently from 1545 to 1563. In twenty-five sessions it dealt concurrently with doctrinal questions and church reform. Its doctrinal decrees explained scripture and... Read More »

A period of three days of preparation for a feast day. The term is most frequently used for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, the three days prior to Easter Sunday that are the concluding days of Holy Week, also known as the Easter Triduum. Other usage for the Easter Triduum reckons... Read More »

A national meeting of Episcopal Church Women which occurs at the time of General Convention, sometimes called the "Women's Triennial," because it meets every three years. The 1871 General Convention discussed the role of women in the missionary and educational work of the church, and concluded... Read More »

The Trinity is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (BCP, p. 852). The term is from the Latin tri, "three," and unitas, "unity." The term was devised by Tertullian to express the mystery of the unity-in-diversity of God. Trinity means "threefold unity." The corresponding word in Greek is ho trias... Read More »

The third Episcopal parish in Boston, it was founded on Oct. 17, 1733, by a group of fourteen men who met in a tavern. In 1829 a stone Gothic Revival building was erected on the original site of the church. Phillips Brooks, Trinity's most famous pastor, became the rector in 1869. A new church... Read More »

In Apr. 1835 the Rev. James Angell Fox established an Episcopal congregation in New Orleans with the name Trinity Church. It was the second Episcopal church in New Orleans. It was dissolved when Fox returned to Mississippi. On July 8, 1847, Trinity Church was incorporated, and on May 3, 1848, it... Read More »

Sometimes called Trinity Church, Wall Street. In 1696 Governor Benjamin Fletcher of New York granted his approval for the Anglicans in Manhattan to purchase land for a new church. On Nov. 2, 1696, the vestry of the new Trinity Church called William Vesey to be the rector. King William III of... Read More »

Trinity College was founded in 1963 by the Philippine Episcopal Church and the Philippine Independent Church. It was named after Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, where Remsen Brinckerhoff Ogilby served as president, 1920-1943. His son, Lyman Cunningham Ogilby, was Bishop of the Philippines,... Read More »

Trinity College began as Washington College. The charter was granted on May 16, 1823. On Sept. 23, 1824, Washington College opened with nine students. The founder and first president, 1823-1831, was Bishop Thomas Church Brownell of Connecticut. In 1845 the name was changed to Trinity College. In... Read More »

In the early 1970s a group of Episcopal lay people and clergy sensed the need for a new seminary to emphasize biblical faith and train lay persons and clergy for parish ministry in light of faith. The Fellowship of Witness led the effort. On Apr. 15, 1975, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry was... Read More »

Feast that celebrates "the one and equal glory" of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, "in Trinity of Persons and in Unity of Being" (BCP, p. 380). It is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Trinity Sunday is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year (BCP, p. 15). The proper... Read More »

An ancient hymn of the eastern church. "Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy upon us" (BCP, p. 356). The term is from the Greek, meaning "thrice holy." It is mentioned in the acts of the Council of Chalcedon (451). This hymn was used at the opening of the eucharistic rite in the... Read More »

A textual insertion into the authorized liturgical texts. Tropes varied from a few words to lengthy sentences. Used with traditional plainchant, the extra words were matched to the notes of a long melisma (a series of notes assigned to one syllable of the text). For example, the setting for the... Read More »

This journal's full title was The True Catholic: Reformed, Protestant and Free. Edited by Members of the Protestant Episcopal Church, with the Approbation of the Bishop of Maryland. It was published from May 1843 until Dec. 1856 and edited by the layman and lawyer Hugh Davey Evans. It... Read More »

(c. 1797/98-Nov. 26, 1883). Antislavery reformer. She was born a slave in Ulster County, New York, and named Isabella Baumfree. She purchased her freedom when she was twenty-eight. After one of her many religious visions, on June 1, 1843, she took the name Sojourner Truth. She moved to New York... Read More »

(c. 1821-Mar. 10, 1913). Abolitionist. She was born a slave in Dorcester County, Maryland. She was first named Araminta, but later changed her name to Harriet. Tubman was a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. In 1849 she escaped from slavery and was a fugitive slave. Tubman... Read More »

(Jan. 6, 1895-Jan. 1, 1984). Priest and hymn composer. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of Beverley Dandridge Tucker, later Bishop of Southern Virginia, and Anna Maria (Washington) Tucker, who had been born in Mount Vernon. He was educated at the University of Virginia and Virginia... Read More »

(July 16, 1874-Aug. 8, 1959). Nineteenth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Warsaw, Virginia. Tucker received his M.A. from the University of Virginia in 1895 and his B.D. from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1899. He was ordained deacon on June 23, 1899, and priest on July 30, 1900. Tucker... Read More »

(Jan. 10, 1886-Jan. 8, 1982). Priest and social activist. He was born in Mobile, Alabama. Tucker received his B.D. from the General Theological Seminary in 1913. He was ordained deacon on June 2, 1912, and priest on May 18, 1913. In 1914 Tucker left New York for Chicago where he became managing... Read More »

A collection of tunes for use in the Episcopal Church. The 1856 General Convention resolved to appoint a committee to prepare a book of psalm and hymn tunes, chants, and anthems. The committee included William Augustus Muhlenberg, Gregory Thurston Bedell, George J. Geer, and James A. Johnson. The... Read More »

Once the distinctive vestment of subdeacons in the western church, the tunicle is now obsolete. The term is from the Latin tunicula, which is the diminutive of tunica, "tunic." The tunic was a long, loose-fitting garment that was worn by men and women in ancient Greece and Rome. The tunicle was... Read More »

(d. Dec. 23, 1943). African American theological educator. He received his B.A. from Howard University. Tunnell was the second African American student to be admitted to the General Theological Seminary and received his B.D. in 1887. He was ordained deacon on June 5, 1887, and priest on Dec. 18,... Read More »

(Jan. 23, 1790-Dec. 21, 1861). Priest and biblical scholar. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1807 and then studied for the ministry under Bishop William White. Turner was ordained deacon on Jan. 27, 1811, and priest on Jan. 23, 1814.... Read More »

A person who gives private instruction or additional and remedial instruction. In some universities and colleges, a tutor is a teacher or teaching assistant with a rank below that of an instructor. The General Theological Seminary has used graduate students as tutors for students in the Master of... Read More »

(Jan. 26, 1837-Apr. 17, 1923). Thirteenth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Windham, New York. He graduated from Columbia in 1857 and from the General Theological Seminary in 1862. Tuttle was ordained deacon on June 29, 1862, and priest on July 19, 1863. He began his ordained ministry as curate at... Read More »

(Mrs. Alvi Tabor Twing).

Two acts passed by the Virginia Assembly concerning the payment of public officials, including clergy. In the Virginia colony the primary means of payment was in tobacco. In 1758 there was a "prodigious diminution" of this staple crop because of the "unseasonableness" of the weather. The... Read More »

(c. 1495-Oct. 6, 1536). Translator of the scriptures. He was born in Slymbridge, "about the borders of Wales." Tyndale received his B.A. and M.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford, and then studied at Cambridge. He was ordained priest around 1521 and soon determined to translate the scriptures into... Read More »

(Mar. 1, 1800-Sept. 3, 1885). Leading evangelical. He was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Tyng graduated from Harvard College in 1817. He then studied for the ordained ministry under Bishop Alexander V. Griswold. He was ordained deacon on Mar. 4, 1821, and priest on Jan. 28, 1824. Tyng began... Read More »

(June 28, 1839-Nov. 17, 1898). Leading evangelical. He was born in Philadelphia. Tyng graduated from Williams College in 1858. He studied for the ordained ministry at the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon on May 8, 1861, and served for two years as his father's assistant at... Read More »

(Oct. 21, 1812-Oct. 6, 1889). Bishop and ecumenist. He was born in Richmond, Virginia. Vail graduated from Washington (now Trinity) College in 1831 and from the General Theological Seminary in 1835. He was ordained deacon on June 29, 1835, and priest on Jan. 6, 1837. While a deacon he officiated at... Read More »

A sacrament is recognized by the church to be genuine and true when certain minimum requirements are met. These requirements concern proper form, matter, minister, and intent. The form means the words of prayer that are used in the sacramental rite, and the matter concerns the material or gesture... Read More »

In 1842 Bishop Levi S. Ives of North Carolina decided to form a religious community in North Carolina on the model of the one that was beginning in Nashotah, Wisconsin. It was established in western North Carolina, near the Tennessee border, where three streams make their junction and thus form the... Read More »

(Oct. 12, 1872-Aug. 26, 1958). English composer, hymn writer, and editor. He was born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire. Williams was educated at Charterhouse, The Royal College of Music, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He studied music with several of the most prominent musicians and composers of... Read More »

1) A square cloth that covers the paten and chalice until preparation of the altar for communion. The veil usually matches the vestments and altar hangings in the liturgical color of the season. It is draped over the pall, which is a white square placed on top of the paten, purificator, and chalice... Read More »

In the Jerusalem Temple, the veil or curtain of the temple was at the entrance to the most holy place (see Ex 26:33, 35:12, 39:34; 2 Chr 3:14). It has also been known as the holy of holies. This inner room contained the ark of the covenant, which was covered with the veil when the tabernacle was... 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.