An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


The second office of the seven canonical hours. It was usually recited at about 6 a.m., which was known as the first hour. Prime along with terce, sext, and none […]


A man who is head of a religious house known as a priory, or the second person in authority of an abbey. An abbot is a man who is the […]


A woman who is head of a religious house known as a priory, or the second person in authority of an abbey. An abbess is a woman who is the […]


A religious house that has a prior or prioress as superior.


A church named by a diocesan bishop to serve as a cathedral but which remains under the governance of the vestry and dean. It is used as a cathedral for […]

Process Theology

A theological approach that understands ultimate reality in terms of a dynamic process of becoming and ongoing change. This processive understanding may be contrasted with static notions of being that […]

Procession (Liturgical)

A movement of participants in a liturgy from one place to another. The use of processions at the eucharist followed the legalization od Christianity by Constantine in the fourth century. […]

Processional Cross

A cross or crucifix mounted on a pol that is carried in a procession by an acolyte or server.

Processions (Trinitarian)

The divine processions of the Son and the Spirit in the immanent (internal) life of God are at the heart of the distinctions of the persons of the Trinity. Christian […]


Expressing contempt or blasphemous disrespect for God or the sacred. For example, vandalism or desecration of a church is a profane act. The BOS provides a form for the Restoration […]

Professed Member of a Monastic Order

A member of a monastic or religious community who has taken vows. This person has a voice in the chapter (legislative gathering) of the community. Some communities distinguish between the […]

Profession (Monastic)

The commitment by which one becomes a full member of a monastic or religious community. This is usually through the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Temporary vows, or […]


Variable parts of the eucharistic liturgy and the Daily Office which are appointed for a particular day according the the season or occasion. These parts of the liturgy may be […]

Prophet, Prophecy

A prophet in the OT was called a messenger to proclaim the word of the God of the covenant to the people of the covenant. Prophecy refers to the message […]


The appeasement of divine wrath through sacrifice or its substitute in prayer. The term is not in current usage. It was used in older versions of the BCP. It appears […]

Proposed Book

The Book of Common Prayer, . . . As Revised and Proposed to the Use of the Protestant Episcopal Church (1786) incorporated recommendations from Connecticut and from the other New […]

Proposed Book of Common Prayer

Proposals for revision of the 1928 BCP were first published by the Standing Liturgical Commission in a series of Prayer Book Studies, the first of which was published in 1950. […]


Lying full length and face down on the floor or ground as a gesture of humility and devotion. This posture may also express adoration or submission. Historically, prostrations have been […]

Protestant Churchman, The

This weekly magazine began publication on Aug. 12, 1843, in New York City. In 1862 its name was changed to Christian Times. In 1866 the title was changed to the […]

Protestant Episcopal Quarterly Review and Church Register

A low church publication critical of Roman Catholicism that was published in New York from Jan. 1854 until Oct. 1861, by the Rev. Herman Dyer.

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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.