An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

General Thanksgiving

The BCP includes two prayers of General Thanksgiving. The traditional prayer of General Thanksgiving was composed by Edward Reynolds (1599-1676), Bishop of Norwich. It was possibly inspired by a private […]

General Theological Seminary, The

The oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church, founded by the 1817 General Convention. By 1827 it was located at “Chelsea Square,” in New York City, part of the family estate […]

Geneva Bible

English translation of the Bible published at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1560. Based on translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale, it was the work of Protestant exiles in Geneva. Its […]

Geneva College

See Hobart College, Geneva, New York.

Genuflection, or Genuflexion

A gesture of reverence in worship. It involves touching a knee briefly to the floor while holding the upper body upright, and then returning to a standing position. It is […]

George Mercer, Jr

, Memorial School of Theology. In Feb. 1955, Bishop James P. DeWolfe initiated a new form for alternative theological training by establishing the School of Theology of the Diocese of […]

Georgia, Diocese of

The primary convention of the Diocese of Georgia was held Feb. 24-28, 1823, at St. Paul's Church, Augusta. The first bishop of the diocese was not consecrated until 1841. The […]


Stylized motions of the body, especially the arms and hands, during worship. Along with postures, these natural and instinctive motions express in a nonverbal, kinetic way the meaning of the […]

Gifts of the Spirit

Five NT texts form the basis for understanding the gifts of the Spirit, known as the charismata in Greek. These texts include 1 Cor 12:1-14:40, Rom 12:8, Eph 4:11-12, Rom […]


See Cincture.


The term is derived from a Latin word meaning “clod” or “soil.” Glebes were farm lands set aside for the support of the clergy in American colonies where the Church […]

Glebe House, Woodbury, Connecticut

Site of the first episcopal election in the United States. Built around 1750, Glebe House was the rectory for St. Paul's Church, Woodbury. The Rev. John Rutgers Marshall lived there […]

Gloria in Excelsis

“Glory in the highest,” a short hymn of praise to the Trinity. Its opening verse is based on the song of the angels to the shepherds at the time of […]

Gloria Patri

A short acclamation of praise to the Trinity. "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and […]

Gloria Tibi

“Glory to you, Lord Christ.” The term is from the opening words of the statement in Latin. It is the people's response to the announcement of the gospel at the […]


Ecstatic utterance as an expression of faith and praise for God. This Greek term designates the phenomenon of “speaking in new tongues” promised in Mk 16:17. For Paul (1 Cor […]


The term (from the Greek gnosis, “knowledge”) refers to a loosely defined group of religious sects which flourished near the beginning of the Christian era. They were all syncretistic, incorporating […]


See Sponsor (at Baptism).

Godwin, Morgan

(1640-c. 1690). Missionary and author. He was baptized at Bicknor, Gloucestershire, England, on Dec. 2, 1640. Godwin (sometimes spelled Godwyn) studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and graduated in 1664. He […]

Gold, William Jason

(June 17, 1845-Jan. 11, 1903). Theologian, liturgist, and seminary professor. He was born in Washington, D.C. Gold studied first at Columbia College and graduated from Harvard College in 1865. He […]

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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.