An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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The term has been applied to male Christians since the earliest NT times. The language of family kinship recalls the closeness of the bond that is shared by those who live in Christ. For example, the Gospel of Mark (3:35) records Jesus' statement that "Whoever does the will of God is my... Read More »

(Apr. 26, 1698-Apr. 13, 1723). One of the Yale converts. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Brown (sometimes Browne) graduated from Yale College in 1714. He was the rector of the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven. In 1718 he was appointed tutor in Yale College and remained in that position... Read More »

(Sister Anna Mary) (June 14, 1873-Jan. 2, 1967). Leading African American sister. She was born in Macon, North Carolina. Brown was left an orphan as a small child and brought up by a white Baptist minister. She was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 1895, and in 1897 she entered the novitiate of... Read More »

(June 23, 1897-Mar. 23, 1964). Church musician and composer. He was born in Roxbury, Vermont. Brown was a graduate of Oberlin College and an associate of the American Guild of Organists. Upon graduation from college he became director of the Music School of Fisk University, Nashville. In 1935 he... Read More »

(June 16, 1910-Feb. 5, 1994). Bishop and civil rights leader. He was born in Garden City, Kansas. Brown received his B.A. in 1933 from St. Mary's University and his B.D. in 1937 from the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon on June 20, 1937, and priest on Dec. 24, 1937. He was... Read More »

(Nov. 6, 1855-Oct. 31, 1937). Deposed bishop. He was born in Wayne County, near Norville, Ohio. Brown attended Seabury Hall, Faribault, Minnesota, and then studied theology at Bexley Hall, Gambier, Ohio. He was ordained deacon on June 17, 1883, and priest on May 22, 1884. Brown served Grace Church... Read More »

(Oct. 19, 1779-Jan. 13, 1865). Seventh Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was born in Westport, Massachusetts. Brownell began his education at the College of Rhode Island, but transferred to Union College where he graduated in 1804. From 1805 until 1817, he taught at Union College, and... Read More »

(b. Mar. 11, 1929). Twenty-fourth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Browning received his B.A. in 1952 and his B.D. in 1954 from the University of the South. He was ordained deacon on July 2, 1954, and priest on May 23, 1955. Browning was an assistant... Read More »

An important pre-Revolutionary parish. It had a strong association with both the College of William and Mary and the colonial government of Virginia. In 1632 or 1633, the parish of Middler Plantation was formed. In 1658 it was combined, by act of the Colonial Assembly, with Harrop Parish to form... Read More »

(June 27, 1875-Sept. 26, 1963). Priest and church historian. He was born in Danville, Virginia. Brydon received his B.A. from Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia, in 1896, and his B.D. from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1899. He was ordained deacon on June 23, 1899, and priest on May 31, 1900.... Read More »

(Nov. 1, 1491-Feb. 28, 1551). Reformation leader. He was born in Schlettstadt, Alsace. Bucer came under the influence of Martin Luther, and from 1523 he worked as a reforming pastor in Strasbourg. After the death of Ulrich Zwingli in 1531, Bucer became the leader of the reformed churches in... Read More »

(c. 1582-c. 1642). Colonial clergyman. He studied at Caius College, Cambridge. He arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, on May 23, 1610, as the second minister at James City Parish. He succeeded Robert Hunt. Buck officiated at the marriage of John Rolfe and Pocahontas on Apr. 14, 1614. He opened with... Read More »

(b. Mar. 11, 1909). First African American diocesan bishop. Burgess was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan. In 1934 he received his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School. Burgess was ordained deacon on July 29, 1934, and priest on Jan... Read More »

Funeral rite for burial of a baptized Christian, including anthems, psalms, scripture readings, and prayers. The BCP provides both traditional and contemporary liturgies (pp. 469-507). This rite may serve as the liturgy of the word at a Requiem Eucharist. When there is communion at the Burial of... Read More »

This school was granted a charter on Feb. 27, 1846. It was founded by Bishop George Washington Doane in Burlington, New Jersey. It was adjacent to and affiliated with St. Mary's Hall for girls, which was founded in 1837. During the 1870s the college had a Divinity Department. Burlington... Read More »

(May 13, 1832-Dec. 26, 1904). Leading deaconess and founder of the Dakota League. She was born in Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1852 she married Wesley Burnham. He spent most of his time working in the Sandwich Islands in the sugar cane industry. In 1864 she founded the Dakota League and served as its... Read More »

(June 6, 1904-Jan. 10, 1994). Prominent historian of the Episcopal Church. He was born in West Hartford, Connecticut. Burr received his B.A. in 1927 and his Ph.D. in 1937 from Princeton University. His first position was supervisor of the Church Records Survey for the northeastern United States in... Read More »

A case of two squares of stiff material, hinged or bound together at one end, which contains the corporal and purificators for use at the celebration of the eucharist. The burse is covered in the liturgical color of the day, and placed on top of the veil which covers the chalice.

(May 18, 1692-June 16, 1752). Bishop and opponent of deism. He was born in Wantage, England, to Presbyterian parents. In 1714 he left the Presbyterians, joined the Church of England, and entered Oriel College, Oxford. Butler was ordained priest in 1718. From 1719 until 1726, he was the preacher at... Read More »


" These three letters stand for the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Principal liturgical tradition of the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches. It originated in Constantinople, which was the city of Byzantium in ancient times. The heritage of the liturgy is Syrian and Palestinian, going back to the two great Syrian centers of Antioch and Jerusalem. The Byzantine... Read More »

(Apr. 17, 1796-Nov. 9, 1857). One of the Episcopal Church's earliest and most active missionaries. Bishop Kemper called him "the real pioneer in the West." Cadle was born in New York City and graduated from Columbia College with a B.A. degree in 1813. He was influenced by Bishop John Henry... Read More »

The calendar (BCP, pp. 15-33) orders the liturgical year of the Episcopal Church by identifying two cycles of feasts and holy days-one dependent upon the movable date of Easter Day and the other dependent upon the fixed date of Christmas, Dec. 25. Easter Day is the first Sunday after the full moon... Read More »

The primary convention of the Diocese of California met at Trinity Church, San Francisco, June 24, 1850. The General Convention of 1853 elected William Ingraham Kip Missionary Bishop of California, and the diocese elected him Bishop on Feb. 5, 1857. Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, was established... Read More »

This national newsletter for lay professions is published by the National Network of Lay Professionals in the Episcopal Church. It began publication in Oct. 1986. Its purpose is to provide news, features, and commentary on issues relating to the work and ministry of lay professionals in the... Read More »

(1509-1564). Reformer and theologian. He was the leading figure in the sixteenth-century movement of reform in Switzerland. Calvin was born in Noyon, in Picardy, France. He was sent to Paris at about age fourteen to study in the university. He was apparently headed for an ecclesiastical career and... Read More »

See Calvin, John; see Protestantism.

(d. Nov. 22, 1928). Participant in founding of the Order of the Holy Cross. He was born in Oswego, New York. Cameron studied for the ordained ministry at St. Andrew's Divinity School, Syracuse, New York. He was ordained deacon on June 8, 1879, and priest on May 28, 1880. He served as the first... Read More »

(1718-1779). Commissary and president of the College of William and Mary. He was born in Yorkshire, England. Camm graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University. He emigrated to Virginia. On Aug. 24, 1749, he became Professor of Divinity at the College of William and Mary. Camm served in this... Read More »

(Aug. 13, 1884-Aug. 23, 1977). Bishop and superior of the Order of the Holy Cross. He was born in Florida, New York. Campbell received his B.A. from Columbia University in 1906 and graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 1909. He was ordained deacon on June 6, 1909, and priest on Dec. 7... Read More »

One who is to make a sacramental commitment. Those who are to be baptized and those who are to be confirmed, received, or reaffirmed are referred to as candidates in the BCP (pp. 301, 415). The term also indicates one who is in the final stage of the canonical process leading to ordination as a... Read More »

See Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple, The.

Candles have extensive ceremonial use in the Christian liturgical tradition. Lighted candles may be seen to symbolize the light of Christ, or the light of the gospel, or simply to remind the congregation that the time and space for worship are sacred. Candles provide illumination that enhances the... Read More »

(1700-Feb. 11, 1793). He was a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) in Connecticut. He worked with missionary zeal in Fairfield, Connecticut, among Native Americans and Negroes and with women and men alienated from their congregations by the excesses of the Great... Read More »

(May 7, 1823-Apr. 5, 1896). One of the first American nuns in the Anglican tradition. She was born in Charleston, South Carolina. When her parents died, she was raised by an aunt in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The order of the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion had been founded by Anne Ayres and William... Read More »

The word is derived from the Greek kanon, a "measuring rod or rule." It has several different meanings in the church. 1) [Scripture] The canon of scripture is the list of inspired books recognized by the church to constitute the Holy Scriptures. 2) [Church Law] Canons are the written rules that... 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.