An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

East Carolina, Diocese of

The 1883 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of North Carolina. The primary convention of the new diocese met Dec. 12-13, 1883, at Christ Church, New Bern, and chose the name the Diocese of East Carolina. It includes the following counties: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, […]

East Tennessee, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1982 voted to divide the Diocese of Tennessee into three Dioceses-Tennessee, East Tennessee, and West Tennessee. The Diocese of East Tennessee held its primary convention on Oct. 5-6, 1984, in Knoxville. The diocese includes the following counties: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, […]


The feast of Christ's resurrection. According to Bede, the word derives from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eostre. Christians in England applied the word to the principal festival of the church year, both day and season. 1) Easter Day is the annual feast of the resurrection, the pascha or Christian Passover, and the eighth day of […]

Easter Eve, Easter Even

The Saturday before Easter. In the early church it was a day of fasting and preparation for the Easter Vigil. There is no celebration of the eucharist on this day, in accordance with church tradition. The term “Easter Even” was used by the 1549 Prayer Book. The 1979 BCP uses the title “Holy Saturday” for […]

Easter Vigil

The liturgy intended as the first (and arguably, the primary) celebration of Easter in the BCP (pp. 284-95). It is also known as the Great Vigil. The service begins in darkness, sometime between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter, and consists of four parts: The Service of Light (kindling of new fire, lighting […]

Eastern Catholic Churches

Byzantine or Eastern Rite churches which retain their rites, canons, customs, and national language, but are in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. They include Albanian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Chaldean, Coptic, Ethiopian, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Italo-Albanian, Malabarese, Malankarese, Maronite, Melkite, Romanian, Russian, Ruthenian, Slovak, Syrian, Ukrainian, and Yugoslavian churches. The largest group is the Ukrainian. […]

Eastern Diocese

On May 29, 1810, representatives from New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts (at that time including Maine) met at Boston and organized the Eastern Diocese. This was not a diocese in the regular sense, but an arrangement whereby four weak dioceses could work together. On May 29, 1811, Alexander Viets Griswold was consecrated Bishop […]

Eastern Michigan, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1994 voted to divide the Diocese of Michigan. The new diocese consists of the following counties: Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Cheboygan, Crawford, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Iosco, Lapeer, Midland, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Saginaw, St. Clair, Sanilac, Shiawassee, Tuscola, that part of Oakland County comprising Holly Township, and […]

Eastern Oklahoma, Missionary District of

On Oct. 11, 1910, the General Convention formed this missionary district. It consisted of the counties lying east of the west line of the counties of Creek, Johnston, Marshall, Okfuskee, Osage, Pontotoc, and Seminole. It had only one bishop. On Oct. 10, 1919, the House of Bishops reunited it with the Missionary District of Oklahoma.

Eastern Oregon, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1907 voted to divide the Diocese of Oregon and form the Missionary District of Eastern Oregon. It was a missionary district from 1907 to 1971. The primary convention of the Diocese of Eastern Oregon met at the Church of the Redeemer, Pendleton, Nov. 19-21, 1971. It includes the following Oregon counties: […]


Another term for Easter season, the Great Fifty Days. As used in English-speaking churches, “tide” is an old word meaning a festival and its season.

Easton, Burton Scott

(Dec. 4, 1877-Mar. 7, 1950). Seminary professor and NT scholar. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Easton studied first at the University of Göttingen in Germany. He subsequently received his B.S. in 1898 and his Ph.D. in 1901, both from the University of Pennsylvania. While teaching mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, 1901-1905, he studied […]

Easton, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1868 voted to divide the Diocese of Maryland and form a new diocese. The primary convention of the new diocese met at Christ Church, Easton, on Nov. 19-20, 1868, and adopted the name Diocese of Easton. On May 25, 1894, Trinity Church, Easton, was set apart as Trinity Cathedral.

Eastward Position

The posture of the presider who stands at the altar with his or her back to the people. In churches oriented with the altar at the east end, as was once customary, the presider would thus be facing east. The practice originated in Rome in the eighth or ninth century. It replaced the ancient westward […]

Eau Claire, Diocese of

The 1928 General Convention voted to create a new diocese from the dioceses of Fond du Lac and Milwaukee. The primary convention of the Diocese of Eau Claire was held at Christ Church, Eau Claire. It consists of the following counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, […]


The term (Hebrew ebion, “poor”) refers to a sect of Jewish Christians who upheld the Jewish law and rejected Paul's teaching and ministry to the uncircumcised. They lived an ascetic, communal life east of the Jordan in the early centuries of the Christian era. They regarded Jesus as the Messiah who would come to establish […]

Ecce, Deus

Canticle based on Is 12:2-6, which celebrates the return of Israel from exile. It begins, “Surely it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid.” Isaiah 12:1-6 presents two songs: Is 12:1-3 is a song of deliverance, and Is 12:4-6 is a song of thanksgiving. The canticle Ecce, Deus […]


The term is the Latin transliteration of the Greek ekklesia, which indicated a civic assembly. The word was derived from the Greek for “call out” or “summon,” so it was a “called assembly.” In biblical usage it meant the assembly called by God, the church. Because of the Incarnation, in which the Word of God […]


Of or pertaining to the church.


From the Greek ekklesia, “church,” and logia, “doctrine,” the term refers to the doctrine of the church. The Greek word ekklesia (from ek, “out of,” and kalein, “to call”) describes the church as those “called out” by God from worldly existence to a new life in Christ. The account of the origin of the church […]

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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.