An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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(Apr. 4, 1748-July 17, 1836). First Bishop of Pennsylvania and one of the chief architects of the newly independent church. He was born in Philadelphia. White graduated from the College of Philadelphia in 1765 and then studied theology under Richard Peters and Jacob Duche. He was ordained deacon on... Read More »

(Dec. 16, 1714-Sept. 30, 1770). Leading figure in the "Great Awakening" in eighteenth-century America. He was born in Gloucester, England. Whitefield attended Pembroke College, Oxford University, 1733 until 1736, where he came under the influence of Charles and John Wesley. He was ordained deacon... Read More »

A traditional English name for the Feast of Pentecost. The term is a corruption of "White Sunday." It is associated with the white robes of baptism which were worn by the newly baptized at the Pentecost service. The liturgical color for the Feast of Pentecost is red.

(Dec. 2, 1805-Oct. 17, 1879). Bishop and influential early catholic. He was born in New York City. Whittingham graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 1825 and became its librarian. He was ordained deacon on Mar. 11, 1827, and priest on Dec. 17, 1829. Whittingham began his ordained... Read More »

A woman who has remained unmarried since the death of her husband. In biblical times, women were very much dependent on male relatives for their welfare. A woman could find herself in a vulnerable and defenseless position when her husband died. An untimely and early death of the husband could be... Read More »

(Aug. 24, 1759-July 29, 1833). English philanthropist, reformer, orator, and evangelical layman. He was born in Hull, Yorkshire. Wilberforce studied at St. John's College, Cambridge University, 1776-1779. In 1780 he was elected to the House of Commons representing Hull. It was in the House of... Read More »

(d. Apr. 15, 1729). Second Commissary to Maryland. Bishop of London John Robinson appointed Wilkinson Commissary of the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1716. He served until his death.

(Oct. 12, 1880-Feb. 16, 1968). Renowned composer of church music. He was born in Balham, in Surrey, England. He trained at St. Saviour's, Eastbourne. After advanced study in organ and piano, he served several churches in and near London. In 1913 he came to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as head of... Read More »

First Anglican college in the American colonies. It was founded by James Blair, the first Commissary to Virginia. On Feb. 8, 1693, King William III and Queen Mary II granted a charter. On Dec. 20, 1693, 330 acres were purchased at "Middle Plantation," now Williamsburg, for the school. The... Read More »

William Smith, a nurseryman in Geneva, New York, wanted to establish a college for women in Geneva. Though his family were members of the Episcopal Church, Smith had moved towards spiritualism. President Langdon Cheves Stewardson of Hobart College, Geneva, suggested to Smith a women's college... Read More »

(July 18, 1829-Dec. 2, 1910). Missionary Bishop to China and Japan. He was born in Richmond, Virginia. Williams received the M.A. degree from the College of William and Mary in 1852. He graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1855, and was ordained deacon on July 1, 1855. In Nov. 1855... Read More »

(July 30, 1860-Feb. 14, 1923). Bishop, theologian, and social gospel advocate. He was born in Bellevue, Ohio. Williams received his B.A. in 1880 and his M.A. in 1893 from Kenyon College. He studied for the ordained ministry at Bexley Hall. Williams was ordained deacon on June 17, 1883, and priest... Read More »

(1887-1978). American church musician, composer, and teacher. He was born in Carnarvonshire, Wales. Williams began his career in church music as a chorister in the choir of the Cathedral of St. John, Denver. At the age of thirteen he became the organist of St. Peter's Church, Denver. In 1908... Read More »

(Aug. 30, 1817-Feb. 7, 1899). Founder of Berkeley Divinity School and eleventh Presiding Bishop. He was born in Deerfield, Massachusetts. In 1831 he began his studies at Harvard College. He became an Episcopalian, and at the end of his sophomore year he transferred to Washington College, Hartford,... Read More »

(c. 1780-Oct. 17, 1840). The second African American ordained to the Episcopal priesthood. He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Williams's father, Peter Williams, Sr., was one of the founders of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in New York City. Williams, Jr., became associated... Read More »

( See Vaughan Williams, Ralph.

(658-Nov. 7, 739). He was born in Northumbria, England. He was educated in the monastery at Ripon, where he became a monk. After study in Ireland, he decided he wanted to become a missionary. In 690 he and eleven companions crossed the English Channel to Frisia (Holland). He was consecrated Bishop... Read More »

(Mar. 15, 1816-June 14, 1900). The only bishop consecrated by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States. He was born in Alexandria, Virginia. His father was William Holland Wilmer, a founder and one of the original members of the faculty of the Virginia Theological Seminary. Richard... Read More »

(Oct. 29, 1782-July 24, 1827). Founder and one of the two original members of the faculty of the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was born in Kent County, Maryland, and educated at Washington College, Kent County. He was ordained deacon on Feb. 19, 1808, and began his ordained ministry at Chester... Read More »

(Jan. 8, 1777-Apr. 14, 1859). Professor of theology and priest. He was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Wilson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1792, and was admitted to the bar in 1797. He was president judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Seventh Circuit, Pennsylvania, 1802-1818.... Read More »

(Feb. 28, 1816-July 30, 1900). Widely published writer in mathematics, philosophy, and church history. He was born in Stoddard, New Hampshire, and graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1838. After four years as a Unitarian minister, he joined the Episcopal Church. Wilson was ordained deacon on... Read More »

National graduate training center for women workers in the Episcopal Church. It was purchased by the Woman's Auxiliary as a memorial to Bishop Daniel S. Tuttle. The house was named for Windham, New York, which was Tuttle's birthplace. It opened in 1928. It served as a residential center... Read More »

This agreed statement on eucharistic doctrine was finalized by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) at Windsor in 1971. It was eventually included within the ARCIC Final Report (1982). The commission reached consensus on the eucharist as sacrifice and the real presence. An "... Read More »

Alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of grapes. Wine and bread are the essential elements of the eucharist. Wine is associated with celebration, fellowship, and joy. In Judaism, bread and wine were used in household worship such as the Sabbath meal and the Passover meal. The synoptic... Read More »

(Sept. 13, 1827-July 1, 1878). Hymn translator. She was born in London. She was interested in educational and social problems and became secretary of an association for the promotion of higher education for women in 1870, governor of Red Maids' School, Bristol, promoter of Clifton High School... Read More »

In 1836 Wisconsin was organized as a Missionary territory under the jurisdiction of Bishop Samuel A. McCroskey of Michigan. On Sept. 12, 1838, the House of Bishops voted to give jurisdiction over Wisconsin to Jackson Kemper, Missionary Bishop of Indiana and Missouri. On June 24-25, 1847, the... Read More »

The wisdom literature of the OT consists of the books of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth). Among the books of the Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus (The Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach) and the Wisdom of Solomon also belong to this wisdom category. In contrast to other parts of the OT, such as... Read More »

An eclectic collection of two hundred hymns, songs, and spiritual songs with a selection of service music and devotional pieces, published by Church Publishing Incorporated in 1997. It is a resource for parish functions, home use, and Sunday worship. It includes twelve bilingual hymns, and twenty-... Read More »

Published by members of the Anglo-Orthodox Society in the Diocese of Albany to bring the society to the attention of Episcopalians. The Anglo-Orthodox Society was founded in England. Its purpose is the "revival of Orthodoxy within the Anglican Communion, and the promotion of unity in truth." Its... Read More »

(May 16, 1862-July 19, 1940). Founder of the Emmanuel Movement. He was born in Massillon, Ohio, and grew up in Rochester, New York. Worcester graduated from Columbia College in 1887 and then studied at General Theological Seminary. From 1888 until 1890 he was superintendent of the Sunday School at... Read More »

This phrase can indicate the effective and creative verbal expression of God's power; or the Holy Scriptures that were written under God's inspiration; or Jesus Christ, the Logos, the eternal Son of God, the Word made flesh (Jn 1:1-14). The power of God's creative word is shown in... Read More »

Ministers of the sacrament say these words as the bread and wine are given to the communicants. In a Rite 2 Eucharist, the ministers may say "The Body (Blood) of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you in everlasting life" or "The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven/The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation... Read More »

See Institution Narrative.

(Oct. 30, 1807-Mar. 21, 1885). Hymn writer and bishop. A nephew of the poet William Wordsworth, he was born at Lambeth, where his father was rector. He was educated at Winchester School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he served as a fellow from 1830 to 1836. Wordsworth was headmaster at... Read More »

The term, from the Anglo Saxon, means to pay someone what is their due. It was used in the sixteenth century relative to God and human beings. In the Sarum and English Prayer Book marriage rites, the groom said to the bride, " . . . with my body I thee worship." Certain British magistrates are... Read More »

Former church-related college. In the summer of 1817 the Rev. Philander Chase moved to Worthington and soon became principal of the academy there. On Feb. 8, 1819, the legislature gave the academy a college charter and Chase became president. In 1821 Chase moved to Cincinnati, and in 1828 the... 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.