An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Institution, Words of

See Institution Narrative.


Ancient liturgical practice of “blowing in” the Holy Spirit to the mouth of the candidate for baptism by the celebrant. It was preparatory to the baptism itself. The term is from the Latin in and sufflare, “to blow.” It was the counterpart to the “exsufflation,” or exorcism of evil spirits by the action of the […]


Conscious or willful purpose to do something. One's intention is freely chosen and not forced. In terms of moral theology, intention is associated with moral responsibility for an action. For example, a person who intentionally destroys a vase by knocking it off a table is responsible for the damage. But a person suffering from an […]


The term stands for Inter-faith Metropolitan Theological Education, Inc. This experiment in theological education was conceived by John Caldwell Fletcher, an Episcopal priest and associate professor of church and society at Virginia Theological Seminary. Inter/Met began its pilot year in 1970-1971. Fletcher served as director. Inter/Met's vision was that the best place to learn pastoral […]


Prayer for another or others. Intercession “brings before God the needs of others” (BCP, p. 857). Intercession is one of the seven principal kinds of prayer (BCP, p. 856). An intercessor is one who prays an intercessory prayer. See Intercessor.


One who prays on behalf of another or others. An intercessor is one who prays an intercessory prayer. The term may indicate one who leads the prayers of the people, which are prayers of intercession (BCP, pp. 383-395). Jesus is known as the heavenly intercessor who prays for us. The hymn “Alleluia! sing to Jesus!” […]

Interim Bodies

A term of convenience used to described the committees, commissions, boards, and agencies of the General Convention. It is not a canonically defined term. If a group was created by General Convention resolution, or if a group is constituted by Canon, Rule of Order, or Joint Rule, or if it is funded within the canonical […]


Burial, the placing of the body of a deceased person in a grave. From the Latin, meaning “in earth” or “in the ground,” the verb form of this term is “to inter.” It is not used in the BCP. See Burial of the Dead.


Administration of the consecrated bread and wine of the eucharist at the same time, typically by dipping the bread in the wine and placing the moistened host in the mouth. Depending on local practice, this may be done by the communicant or the one who administers the wine. Historically, intinction has also been done by […]


Reciting or chanting to begin a psalm, antiphon, canticle, or hymn. The intonation is done by a cantor who sets the pitch and leads the singing, which is often unaccompanied by musical instruments. See Cantor.


A hymn, psalm, or anthem that is sung as the ministers enter to begin the eucharist. The term is from Latin, “to go in” or “enter.” The use of an introit psalm at the entrance of the clergy was introduced into the Roman liturgy by Pope Celestine I (d. 432). The choir sang the psalm […]

Investiture Struggle

Controversy in the latter part of the eleventh century and the early decades of the twelfth century between spiritual and temporal authorities over the installation of bishops. Feudal practice allowed kings to install bishops. In some places this led to disappointing and even scandalous appointments. This practice was challenged by Pope Gregory VII (c. 1021-1085) […]


See Invitatory Psalm.

Invitatory Antiphon

See Invitatory Psalm.

Invitatory Psalm

The Venite (Ps 95:1-7), or the entire Ps 95, or the Jubilate (Ps 100), which precedes the appointed selection of Psalmody at Morning Prayer (BCP, pp. 82-83). The Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia (c. 480-c. 540) called for Ps 95 and an antiphon to be sung daily as the first psalm of Matins. The […]


Among Anglicans the term “invocation” may refer to the epiclesis of the eucharistic rites, in which the presence of the Holy Spirit is invoked at the eucharist to bless and sanctify the eucharistic elements and the participants. More generally, it may simply refer to a prayer such as those commonly offered at the beginning of […]

Iowa, Diocese of

The primary convention of this diocese was held Aug. 17-18, 1853, at Trinity Church, Muscatine. The diocese has been in existence since then. On June 18, 1873, Grace Church Cathedral, Davenport, was consecrated. In 1909 Trinity Church, Davenport, merged with Grace Cathedral and the name was changed to Trinity Cathedral. The diocese includes the entire […]


(c. 130-c. 202). Bishop and patristic theologian. He was probably from Smyrna in Asia Minor. When Pothinus, the Bishop of Lyons in Gaul died in 177, Irenaeus was chosen to succeed him. His two greatest theological works are The Refutation and Overthrow of the Knowledge Falsely So-Called, or Five Books Against Heresies written around 189, […]

Ives, Levi Silliman

(Sept. 16, 1797-Oct. 13, 1867). Bishop of North Carolina and convert to Roman Catholicism. He was born in Meriden, Connecticut. In 1816 Ives entered Hamilton College to prepare for the Presbyterian ministry. He did not graduate because of ill health. In 1819 he joined the Episcopal Church because of its uninterrupted succession of apostolic ministry […]

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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.