An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Glossary of Terms


B.D.

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). This page is available in: Español

Baby Bishop

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. This page is available in: Español

Bach, Johann Sebastian

(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 production falls into three principal categories corresponding to the posts […]

Baldachino (Baldaquin)

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. This page is available in: Español

Baldwin, Mary Briscoe

(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 School family and its leadership from […]

Baltimore Declaration

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 abandoning the Christian faith. Alvin […]

Banner of the Church

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 subscription […]

Banner of the Cross, The

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 published on Oct. 31, 1861. This page is available in: […]

Banns of Marriage

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 page is available in: Español

Baptism

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 life […]

Baptism in (of) the Spirit

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 promise in the Pentecost event (Acts 1:5). […]

Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry (BEM)

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 in common […]

Baptismal Covenant

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.” Responding to a series of questions, the people affirm […]

Baptismal Creed, The

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 three sections of the Apostles' Creed (see BCP, p. […]

Baptismal Feasts

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 recommends that, as […]

Baptismal Regeneration

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 being […]

Baptismal Vows, The Renewal of

See Renewal of Baptismal Vows. This page is available in: Español

Baptistry, or Baptistery

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. This page is available in: Español

Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

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 City. John Bard (1819-1899), president of the New […]

Barnabas the Apostle, Saint

( 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 conversion, and he worked with Paul as […]

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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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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