(1 Sm 1:1-28). Samuel's parents Elkanah and Hannah had no child. Hannah went to the Temple and prayed for help, promising to dedicate her child to God. After Samuel was weaned, Hannah brought her son to the Temple and presented him to God. The name "Anne," Mary's legendary mother, may be... Read More »

The feast commemorating the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would be the mother of God's Son, Jesus, and Mary's assent in faith to God's invitation (Lk 1:26-38). The Annunciation is celebrated on Mar. 25 (nine months before Christmas). The Annunciation is a Feast... Read More »

Sacramental use of oil as an outward sign of God's active presence for healing, initiation, or ordination. Anointing with oil by smearing or pouring may accompany prayers for healing (unction) and the laying on of hands in the rite for Ministration to the Sick (BCP, p. 453). The signing with... Read More »

(1033-Apr. 21, 1109). Archbishop of Canterbury and theologian. Anselm is often called the father of Scholasticism and "the second Augustine." He was born in Aosta, Piedmont, Italy, and took monastic vows at the Abbey of Bec in Normandy in 1060. In 1063 he succeeded Lanfranc as prior of Bec, and in... Read More »

(801-Feb. 3, 865). Also known as Ansgar, which means "God's Spear," he is known as the Apostle to the Scandinavians and as the Apostle of the North. Born in Corbie, France, and educated at the monastery there, he went to Denmark as a missionary in 826 and established a school at Schleswig.... Read More »

The liturgy of the word (Pro-anaphora) from the eucharist, without the Great Thanksgiving or communion of the people. Ante-Communion includes the first part of the eucharistic rite through the prayers of the people. It may begin with the Penitential Order if a confession of sin is desired. The BCP... Read More »

See Frontal.

Choral setting of sacred vocal music set to scriptural or liturgical texts, "or texts congruent with them." (BCP, p. 14). "Anthem" is an Anglicized form of the word "antiphon."

(Mar. 11, 1795-Jan. 5, 1861). A founder of the Protestant Episcopal Society for the Promotion of Evangelical Knowledge (1847) and one of the leading protesters against the ordination of Arthur Carey, controversial disciple of the Oxford Movement. He was born in New York City and graduated from... Read More »

From the Greek anti, "against," and nomos, "law," the term is given to teaching opposed to the binding character of moral law. In Christian theology it denotes the doctrine that grace frees believers from the Law. The word "antinomian" seems to have emerged in the sixteenth century when it was... Read More »

A verse sung before and usually after a psalm, canticle, or hymn text. It is often drawn from scripture (especially the psalms) and is appropriate to the liturgical season or occasion. The BCP (p. 141) provides that antiphons may be used with the psalms of the Daily Office. These antiphons may be... Read More »

Verse-by-verse alternation between groups of singers or readers for the singing or recitation of the Psalter. This alternation may be between choir and congregation, or between one side of the congregation and the other (BCP, p. 582). The term is from the Greek, meaning "voice against voice."

A collection of chants to be sung antiphonally by the choir in public worship. It is also known as an antiphonal. It originally provided chants for the eucharist and the Daily Offices of the church. The chants for the eucharist and for the Daily Offices were eventually separated. A chant-book for... Read More »

(c. 251-356). Early Christian desert hermit. He was raised in a Christian home. After his parents died he sold all his possessions and became a hermit or anchorite. He devoted himself to a life of asceticism. He retired to the desert where he lived in solitude, fasting, and prayer. Antony is said... Read More »

From the Greek word for "hidden." It normally refers to fifteen books not found in the Hebrew canon of the OT and includes the following: Tobit, Judith, Additions to the Book of Esther, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus (the Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach), Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, the... Read More »

Christological heresy of the fourth century, based on the teaching of Apollinarius, Bishop of Laodicea (c. 310-c. 390). Apollinarius held that Christ had no human spirit. The Divine Logos was believed to take the place of the human spirit in Christ. Christ thus was understood to be fully divine but... Read More »

The theological discipline of defending the Christian faith against attack, often by use of the thought-forms of the attacker. An apologist is one who defends the faith by making an apology. The terms are derived from the Greek apologia, a "defense," the reply to the speech of the prosecution.

A theological term which derives from a Greek word meaning a denial or negation. Its opposite is cataphatic, which means something that is made known or affirmed. As a theological term it has chiefly been used in the tradition of Byzantine or Eastern Orthodox theology to refer to the relation of... Read More »

A Greek word that, literally translated, means "a thing uttered" or "something said." The term is used by form critics who focus on the editing of the gospels. The English terms used include the words "paradigm," "pronouncement story," and "anecdote." An apophthegm or pronouncement story refers to... Read More »

From the Greek apophthegm, meaning a terse or pointed saying, this term now usually refers to sayings and maxims of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, mostly from fourth- and fifth-century Egypt. Abbas Poemen, Antony, and Arsenius and disciples are featured. The apophthegmata are found in several... Read More »

From the Greek apo, "away from," and stasis "standing," literally meaning a "standing apart," apostasy is used in Christian theology to speak of total renunciation of faith in Christ and abandonment of Christianity. It has always been considered to be among the most... Read More »

See Apostasy.

A term based on the Greek word which means "someone sent out." It is used seventy-nine times in the NT. It often refers to the disciples. The primary NT meaning seems to refer to someone who is a personal messenger of Jesus. This is emphasized in Acts when Matthias is chosen to replace Judas, the... Read More »

Ancient formula of Christian belief in three sections concerning God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Although its authorship is attributed to the twelve apostles, opinions vary concerning its origin. Its title dates from the late fourth century, and it may be based on a shorter form of... Read More »

Among Roman Catholics, a blessing given by the Pope. It may also be given by bishops or priests in the Roman Catholic Church under certain circumstances. It is not to be confused with the pontifical (or episcopal) blessing given by a bishop at the end of the eucharist.

A document belonging to the genre of early Christian literature known as Church Orders. Contemporary scholarship generally recognizes that it was written in Antioch shortly before the Council of Constantinople in 381. It is dependent upon a number of earlier documents, including Didache, Didascalia... Read More »

The belief that bishops are the successors to the apostles and that episcopal authority is derived from the apostles by an unbroken succession in the ministry. This authority is specifically derived through the laying on of hands for the ordination of bishops in lineal sequence from the apostles,... Read More »

The belief that the church continues the faith and work of the apostles. The apostles received the faith from Jesus Christ through his teaching as well as his death and resurrection. Their authority comes from Christ, who was sent by the Father. During their lifetime the apostles passed on the... Read More »

See Church Orders; see Hippolytus.

The Encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on Sept. 13, 1896, in which Anglican holy orders were condemned as invalid through defect of form and intention in the Ordinal of Edward VII. This ordinal was used for the consecration of Archbishop Matthew Parker on Dec. 17, 1559. The letter judged Anglican... Read More »

See Notes of the Church.

The raising of an emperor or other special person to the status of a god in pagan religion. Though initially done after death, from the time of Domitian (81-96 A.D.) the emperors were deified even during their lifetime. This concept is not to be confused with Christian notions of sanctification and... Read More »

Semicircular or polyhedral construction at the end of the chancel, containing the altar and sanctuary, and roofed with a half dome. The apse was a standard feature of the architecture of the early church.

(1733-Apr. 16, 1816). An early advocate for the episcopate in the colonies. He was part of a vigorous pamphlet war in the 1760s reflecting the tensions between the Church of England in the American colonies and the Congregational establishment, and the increasing confluence of anti-crown and anti-... Read More »

(1225-Mar. 7, 1274). The leading theologian of the medieval church, Aquinas was given the title doctor angelicus. On July 18, 1323, he was pronounced a saint by Pope John XXII. His two major writings are the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. The Summa Theologica is a systematization... Read More »

See Pyx, or Pix.