An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


The renunciation of the use of violent force that would take the life of another person. The early Christian community was of two minds whether a Christian could be a […]

Packard, Joseph

(Dec. 23, 1812-May 3, 1902). Biblical scholar, seminary professor, and dean. He was born in Wiscasset, Maine. Packard graduated from Bowdoin College in 1831. He taught for several years and […]

Page, Ann Randolph Meade

(Dec. 3, 1781-Mar. 28, 1838). Anti-slavery advocate. She was born at “Chatham,” Stafford County, Virginia, and was the sister of Bishop William Meade of Virginia. On Mar. 23, 1799, she […]


Prayers and sacrifices made on behalf of the participants at Cursillo, so that the entire weekend is permeated by prayer. The term is from the Spanish for “lever” or “leverage.” […]


1) A square, stiffened white linen cloth that is used to cover the chalice at the eucharist. There may be a design on the side of the pall that does […]

Palm Sunday (The Sunday of the Passion)

The Sunday before Easter at which Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:1-11, Mk 11:1-11a, Lk 19:29-40) and Jesus’ Passion on the cross (Mt 26:36-27:66, Mk 14:32-15:47, Lk 22:39-23:56) are […]


This journal was published from Lent 1950 until 1970. It was published irregularly in fifteen volumes over twenty years. The normal rate of publication was two issues per year. The […]

Panagia or panaghia or panhagia

A Greek term meaning “all holy one.” It is a title of the Virgin Mary in the eastern church. The term also refers to a small folding case with an […]

Panama, Diocese of

The House of Bishops placed the Canal Zone under the jurisdiction of the Presiding Bishop on Oct. 17, 1904. The 1919 General Convention established the Missionary District of the Panama […]

Pange Lingua

Title for two well known Latin chant hymns, Venantius Fortunatus's passiontide hymn, “Sing my tongue the glorious battle” (Hymns 165, 166), and the Corpus Christi (now eucharistic) hymn, “Now, my […]


Belief that God is all creation and that all creation is God. From the Greek pan, “all,” and theos, “god.” Pantheism is inconsistent with orthodox Christianity because it ignores God's […]

Papal Infallibility

See Infallibility, Papal.


The term is from the Greek for “something placed by the side of something else.” NT parables are sayings of Jesus in which he uses metaphors or similes, brief or […]


The study of what happens between death and the ultimate state of a person.


Cloth or tapestry hangings used to adorn the space for worship, especially those hangings at the altar, pulpit, and lectern. The term is derived from the Latin, “to decorate” or […]


The term is used in the 1979 BCP and earlier editions, and means a self-supporting congregation under a rector, as opposed to a mission or other congregation under a vicar. […]

Parish House

A church building or house that may provide space for the parish office, clergy and staff offices, classrooms, choir rehearsal room, and meeting rooms. It may also include a chapel, […]

Parish Meeting

A meeting of the members of a parish. The by-laws of the parish generally require an annual parish meeting and state the qualifications to be a voting member of the […]

Parish Nurse

A registered nurse (RN) who provides health care in a pastoral setting. The program was founded in 1983 by the Rev. Granger Westberg, a Lutheran pastor and chaplain at Lutheran […]

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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.