An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


An early Christian symbol, the transliteration of the Greek word ixous, “fish.” The letters are the initial letters of the Greek words for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. This […]


The traditional icon is a stylized religious picture that is usually painted on a wood panel in egg tempera. Icons depict Christ, the Trinity, St. Mary, other saints, and events […]


The term means “the smashing of icons.” The most important iconoclastic controversies occurred in the seventh and eighth centuries. These controversies led to the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787. The […]


The art of making icons. An iconographer who aspires to make a theological statement may be said to “write” an icon. The term also refers to the whole history and […]


A wall of icons placed between the nave and sanctuary in an Eastern Orthodox church. It developed from the older custom of placing or painting icons on interior beams and […]

Idaho, Diocese of

The state of Idaho was part of the Missionary District of the Northwest, which was established in 1859. The 1865 General Convention established the Missionary District of Colorado and Parts […]


(c. 35-c. 115). Bishop, patristic theologian, and martyr. Very little is known about the life of Ignatius. He was the second, or possibly third, Bishop of Antioch. He was serving […]

Ignatius of Loyola

(1491-July 31, 1556). Founder of the Jesuits. He was born in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa, Spain. Ignatius was a soldier who underwent a conversion on May 20, 1520, while […]


Monogram of the Holy Name of Jesus. It is taken from the first three letters of Jesus' name in Greek, which have been latinized to “IHS.” The monogram appears in […]


This newsletter of American Indian/Alaska native ministry of the Episcopal Church began publication in Spring 1987. IKHANA is a Choctaw word which means “to teach, to inform.”

Illinois, Diocese of

The Diocese of Chicago was named the Diocese of Illinois from Mar. 9, 1835, until May 28, 1884.

Immaculate Conception

This dogma of the Roman Catholic Church is that the Virgin Mary was kept free from original sin from the first moment of her conception. Mary is understood to be […]

Immanent Trinity

See Trinity.


Mode of baptism in which the candidate's entire body is introduced into the water. The term "baptize" is from the Greek, "to dip." Immersion was the normal way of baptism […]


To petition or beseech; to obtain by entreaty. Impetrative prayer asks God to accomplish what has been requested. Impetration relies on God's loving generosity and willingness to answer prayer. In […]

Imposition of Ashes

Ashes may be imposed on the heads of participants in the Ash Wednesday service as a sign of mortality and penitence. The ashes are imposed with the words, “Remember that […]


See Reproaches, The.


The formal acceptance of a member of the clergy by the ecclesiastical authority of a new diocesan jurisdiction. In the Episcopal Church, such transfers of clergy from jurisdiction to jurisdiction […]


The term, from the Latin carnis ("flesh") literally means "enfleshment." It reflects the christological doctrine that Jesus was fully human and fully divine, the Son of God "in the flesh." […]


Latin term translated into English as Incarnation. It refers to the christological assertion that Jesus was fully human and fully divine, the Son of God or Word in the flesh. […]

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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.