An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


The garment worn by members of classical religious communities. It derives from various forms of male or female dress in the middle ages. Later communities adopted a variant of the clerical black cassock. In recent years many religious communities have simplified the habit, stopped wearing it in public, or abolished it.


The writing of the lives of the saints. It involves studying and comparing the sources, assessing their historical validity and importance, and relating them to their context in contemporary secular history. The primary sources for hagiography include martyrologies, calendars, biographies, prose and verse literary compositions, and liturgical texts. Eusebius (260-340) compiled the first hagiography. The […]

Hail Mary

Prayer addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The first two of its three parts are drawn from the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary at the Annunciation, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (Lk 1:28, RSV); and Elizabeth's words to Mary at the Visitation, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed […]

Haiti, Diocese of

On Nov. 3, 1874, the House of Bishops gave its consent to the consecration of James Theodore Holly as Bishop of Haiti and signed a covenant with the Protestant Episcopal Church in Haiti. Holly served as Bishop until his death in 1911. On Oct. 4, 1913, the House of Bishops created the Missionary District of […]

Hakluyt, Richard

(c. 1552-Nov. 23, 1616). Priest who developed the theoretical rationale for British colonization of America. He was born in Herefordshire, England. Hakluyt received his B.A. in 1574, and his M.A. in 1577, both from Christ Church, Oxford. Although he was a priest, he was most interested in geography and cosmography. Hakluyt was an authority on […]

Hale, Sarah Josepha

(Oct. 24, 1788-Apr. 30, 1879). Editor, poet, and advocate for social justice. She was born in Newport, New Hampshire. In 1813 she married a lawyer, David Hale, and they had five children. He died in 1822, and she supported the children by writing. Her poem, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” published in her Poems For […]

Hall, Arthur Crawshay Alliston

(Apr. 12, 1847-Feb. 26, 1930). Leader of Anglo-catholicism, committed ecumenist, and author of twenty books, including The Virgin Mother (1894) and The Doctrine of the Church(1909). He was born in Binfield, Berkshire, England. He received his B.A. in 1869 and his M.A. in 1872 from Christ Church, Oxford. At Oxford he came under the influence […]

Hall, Francis Joseph

(Dec. 24, 1857-Mar. 12, 1932). Called the “most notable of Anglo-Catholic theologians” in the Episcopal Church, he was born in Ashtabula, Ohio. Hall received his B.A. in 1882 and his M.A. in 1885, both from Racine College. He then studied for the ordained ministry at the General Theological Seminary and Western Theological Seminary. He was […]


Ancient Hebrew praise-shout. It means “Praise Yah,” which is a shortened form of the word “Yahweh.” It is translated into Latin as “Alleluia,” and translated into English as “Praise the Lord.” It appears in Psalms 106, 111-113, 135, and 146-150. With one exception (Ps 135:3), it is always found at the beginning and/or end of […]


See All Hallows' Eve.

Hankow, Missionary District of

The General Convention of 1901 voted to divide China into the Missionary District of Shanghai and the Missionary District of Hankow. On Oct. 11, 1910, the House of Bishops voted to divide the Missionary District of Hankow and create the Missionary District of Wuhu. The Missionary District of Hankow became a part of the Holy […]

Hannington, James

(Sept. 3, 1847-Oct. 29, 1885). Missionary bishop and martyr. He was born in Hurstpierpoint, England. Hannington received his B.A. in 1873 and his M.A. in 1875, both from St. Mary's Hall, Oxford. Six years after his ordination to the priesthood in 1876, he volunteered to be a Church Missionary Society missionary at Rubaga in Central […]

Hanson, Francis R.

(Mar. 27, 1807-Oct. 21, 1873). One of the first two Episcopal missionaries to China. He was born in Durham, Charles County, Maryland. Hanson graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1833. He was ordained deacon on May 19, 1833, and priest on May 30, 1834. On June 1, 1835, he and the Rev. Henry Lockwood […]


A renewal weekend for youth in high school. In some places, early college youth and/or adults who work with youth may attend. It was created in the Diocese of Dallas in the early 1970s, based on the Cursillo model for adults and a Roman Catholic derivative of Cursillo for teens called Search. The Rev. Pat […]

Hardy, Edward Rochie

(June 17, 1908-May 26, 1981). Church historian. He was born in New York City. Hardy received his B.A. in 1923, his M.A. in 1924, and his Ph.D. in 1931, all from Columbia University. In 1933 he received his S.T.B. from General Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 21, 1929, and priest on June […]

Hare, William Hobart

(May 16, 1838-Oct. 23, 1909). Bishop and missionary to American Indians. He was born in Princeton, New Jersey. Hare studied at the University of Pennsylvania but never graduated. He studied for the ordained ministry on his own, while teaching at St. Mark's Academy, Philadelphia. Hare was ordained deacon on June 19, 1859, and served as […]

Harris, Barbara Clementine

(b. June 12, 1930). First female bishop in the Anglican Communion. She was born in Philadelphia. Harris studied at the Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and Journalism at Villanova University, and at the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, England. Harris worked for 14 years with the Sun Oil Company. She was a member of […]

Harrisburg, Diocese of

The Diocese of Central Pennsylvania was named the Diocese of Harrisburg from Nov. 29, 1904, until Apr. 30, 1971.

Harrowing of Hell

The medieval English term for Christ's descent to hell and victory over Satan. Christ's descent to hell or the place of the dead after his death on the cross is mentioned or suggested by several NT sources, including Mt 12:40; Acts 2:24, 31; Rom 10:7; Eph 4:9; Col 1:18; and possibly 1 Pt 3:18-19, 4:6. […]

Hart, Samuel

(June 4, 1845-Feb. 25, 1917). Secretary of the House of Bishops and dean of the Berkeley Divinity School. He was born in Saybrook, Connecticut. Hart received his B.A. from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1866, and his B.D. from the Berkeley Divinity School in 1869. He was ordained deacon on June 2, 1869, and priest […]

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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.