(354-Aug. 28, 430). Bishop and theologian, widely regarded as the greatest of the Latin Fathers and one of the major theologians in the history of Christianity. He was born in Tagaste in North Africa and was influenced greatly by his Christian mother, Monica. He studied Manichaeism and Neoplatonism... Read More »

A cupboard or secure receptacle in the side wall of the sanctuary or sacristy. Aumbries traditionally have been used to keep sacred vessels, books, reliquaries, and oils for anointing. Aumbries may also be used for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.

Verbalized confession of sin by a penitent to another Christian. Absolution may only be pronounced by a bishop or priest. The BCP provides two forms for the Reconciliation of a Penitent (pp. 447-452). See Reconciliation of a Penitent.

The threefold sources of authority in Anglicanism are scripture, tradition, and reason. These three sources uphold and critique each other in a dynamic way. Scripture is the normative source for God's revelation and the source for all Christian teaching and reflection. Tradition passes down... Read More »

"Autocephalic" denotes independence or autonomy. Literally, it is "self-headed." The autocephalic churches are understood to be the fourteen autocephalic churches of the Byzantine or Eastern Rite which are not in communion with the Church of Rome.


1) Bulletin of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in New York City. It was first published in Jan. 1932. 2) Newsletter of the Society of Mary.

See Annunciation, The.

(Jan. 3, 1816-Feb. 9, 1896). The first American nun in the Anglican tradition. She was born in London and came to the United States when she was twenty years old. She was deeply influenced by William Augustus Muhlenberg. At his Church of the Holy Communion, New York, she made monastic vows on Nov.... Read More »

Bachelor of Divinity. The degree presupposes a first bachelor's degree and was designed to prepare persons for ministry in the church and synagogue. It has been supplanted by the M.Div. (Master of Divinity). Read More »

An informal term that refers to a newly ordained bishop. It reflects the assumption that a period of time will be required for the newly ordained bishop to gain experience and grow into the new position.

(Mar. 21, 1685-July 28, 1750). Dominant figure in the history of church music whose output embraces practically every musical genre of his time except opera. His reputation during his lifetime was earned principally as organ virtuoso and expert in organ construction and design. Bach's musical... Read More »

A canopy used to cover an altar. It may be made of wood, stone, metal, or fabric. The term is also applied to the canopy over a bishop's throne, a canopy over statues, and the canopy carried in processions such as processions of the Blessed Sacrament. See Blessed Sacrament. Read More »

(May 20, 1811-June 1877). Missionary to Greece and Syria. She was born at Belle Grove, Frederick County, Virginia. When she was twenty-four, Baldwin went to Athens, Greece, to teach at the girls' school established by the Rev. and Mrs. John Hill. She was part of the Athens Episcopal Mission... Read More »

A manifesto issued on May 26, 1991, the Feast of the Holy Trinity, by six Episcopal priests in the Diocese of Maryland. It was patterned after the 1934 Barmen Declaration of the Confessing Church in Germany. The Baltimore Declaration charged that the leadership of the Episcopal Church was intent on... Read More »

This journal first appeared on Sept. 3, 1831. It was published in Boston, and it represented high church views. Its motto was "In the Name of Our God We will Set Up Our Banner." It was edited by George Washington Doane and William Croswell. The last issue was published on Nov. 24, 1832. Its... Read More »

This weekly publication continued the Protestant Episcopalian and had the Latin motto, Pro Deo, Pro Ecclesia, Pro Hominum Salute, and the English slogan, "Gospel Truth, and Primitive Ecclesiastical Order." It was published in Philadelphia. It began publication on Jan. 5, 1839. Its last issue was... Read More »

Public announcement during a church service of an intended marriage. The Banns are "published" on three occasions to determine if any matrimonial impediments exist. The practice is optional in the Episcopal Church. A form for publishing the Banns of Marriage is provided by the BCP (p. 437).

This is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body, the church. God establishes an indissoluble bond with each person in baptism. God adopts us, making us members of the church and inheritors of the Kingdom of God (BCP, pp. 298, 858). In baptism we are made sharers in the new... Read More »

John the Baptist baptized in water but announced also the coming of a "Strong One" who would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:7-8). John focused primarily on the need for repentance and the importance of the future (eschatology). The early Christian community saw the fulfillment of John's... Read More »

This is Faith and Order Paper No. 111, published by the World Council of Churches in 1982. It is sometimes referred to as the "Lima Report," since the 1982 meeting of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches was at Lima, Peru. BEM represents what divided Christians can affirm... Read More »

The rite of Christian initiation contains a series of vows, made by all present, called the "baptismal covenant" (BCP, pp. 304-305). After the candidates have renounced evil and committed themselves to Christ, the presider asks the congregation to join them and "renew our own baptismal covenant."... Read More »

The Apostles' Creed, which is stated by the people in the baptismal covenant (BCP, p. 304). The affirmations of the Apostles' Creed are made by the people in response to the celebrant's first three questions in the baptismal covenant. These questions and responses correspond to the... Read More »

Baptism is especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints' Day or the Sunday after All Saints' Day, and the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany). These feasts of the church year may be referred to as baptismal feasts. The BCP... Read More »

The doctrine that at baptism the candidates are not only initiated into the Christian community but are also "born again." That is, the Holy Spirit pours upon them the gift of new life. The doctrine is rooted in the NT. The Fourth Gospel states that "no one can enter the kingdom of God without... Read More »

See Renewal of Baptismal Vows.

The liturgical space where the font is located for the celebration of baptism. The baptistry may be a portion of the church set aside for baptisms, a side chapel, or a separate building.

The Rt. Rev. Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, Provisional Bishop of New York, and the Rev. John McVickar, superintendent of the Society for Promoting Religion and Learning, both urged the diocese to establish a church school to prepare young men for entrance to the General Theological Seminary, New York... Read More »

( He was a Levite from Cyprus, and one of the leading members of the early church at Jerusalem. Originally named Joseph, the apostles gave him the Aramaic surname Barnabas, which means "son of consolation" or "son of encouragement." He introduced St. Paul to the apostles after Paul's... Read More »

(Mar. 23, 1891-Mar. 26, 1976). Priest and national church leader. He was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Barnes received his B.A. from the University of California in 1912, and his B.D. from the General Theological Seminary in 1915. He was ordained deacon on June 27, 1915, and priest on July 16, 1916... Read More »

A florid, highly ornamented style of architectural decoration. It appeared in Italy in the late Renaissance and became prevalent on the continent of Europe in the late eighteenth century. It flourished at the same time that the Georgian style was most popular in England and America.

(Jan. 24, 1858-Feb. 23, 1925). Pioneer in Progressive Era women's ministries. She was born in Falmouth, Virginia. She attended the Arlington Institute for Girls in Alexandria. On July 19, 1876, she married the Rev. Robert South Barrett, rector of the church at nearby Aquia, Virginia. The... Read More »

One of the twelve apostles. His name appears only in the listings of the Twelve in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts. Many believe he is the Nathanael mentioned in John. Tradition, based on the writings of Jerome and Eusebius, says that Bartholomew wrote a gospel, preached to the people of India, and... Read More »

(c. 330-Jan. 1, 379). Principal architect of monasticism in the east. He was born in Caesarea in Cappadocia. After his baptism in 357, Basil founded a monastery on a family estate in Pontus. His ascetical writings helped to promote monasticism in the east. The Rule of St. Basil, in two forms,... Read More »

Church building designed according to the architectural style of a Roman basilica, which served as a law court and commercial exchange. Roman basilicas were used for Christian worship after Constantine gave the church freedom to exist. This architectural style included an outer courtyard or atrium... Read More »

(Nov. 23, 1726-Sept. 10, 1803). First Bishop of Massachusetts. He was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard in 1744. After graduation, Bass remained at Harvard for theological studies, but moved from the Congregational Church to the Episcopal Church. He went to England and... Read More »

(May 28, 1827-Mar. 9, 1903). Priest and prominent nineteenth-century Anglo-catholic. He was born at Marbledale, Litchfield County, Connecticut. Batterson was educated privately. He was ordained deacon on Nov. 17, 1861, and began his ministry at St. Mark's Church, San Antonio, Texas. From 1862... Read More »