An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


A journey taken with a religious or devotional intention. Pilgrimages are typically made to shrines, holy places, or locations of religious significance. They may be made as prayers of thanksgiving, […]

Pilmore, or Pilmoor, Joseph

(Oct. 31, 1739-July 24, 1825). A leading early evangelical preacher. He was born in Tadmouth, England. Pilmore was educated in John Wesley's school at Kingswood and was a Methodist lay […]


A small sink, basin, or niche that empties into the earth instead of a sewer. It is typically located in the sacristy or in the wall of the sanctuary. It […]

Pittenger, W. Norman

(July 23, 1905-June 19, 1997). Leading process theologian. He was born in Bogota, New Jersey. Pittenger received his S.T.B. from the General Theological Seminary in 1936. He was ordained deacon […]

Pittsburgh, Diocese of

The 1865 General Convention voted “that all that portion of the State of Pennsylvania lying west of the eastern lines of the counties of McKean, Cameron, Clearfield, Cambria, and Somerset […]


See Pyx.


See Plainsong.


Sacred unison (monophonic) chant. Plainsong dates from the earliest centuries of Christianity. It has one melody (monodic). The plainsong melody is traditionally sung without musical accompaniment, although it is now […]

Plainsong Psalter, The

This volume, edited by James Litton and published by the Church Hymnal Corporation in 1988, includes the entire Psalter of the BCP, plus the antiphons which were compiled by Howard […]


See Chasuble.

Plate (Offering)

Undesignated or “loose” offering of money that is among the gifts presented at the offertory (BCP, pp. 333, 361). The term may be used to distinguish the loose offering of […]

Platte, Missionary District of The

The 1889 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of Nebraska and create the Missionary District of The Platte. This Missionary District, under several different names, existed until 1946. It […]


A commitment to give one's time, talents, and money as an expression of faith and a personal response to God's generosity. Parish members are encouraged to make an annual stewardship […]

Plenary Inspiration

The belief that the entire Bible comes from authors whose hearts and minds were inspired by God. Their mental processes were sharpened and elevated for the task. Although all were […]

Plene esse

See Esse, Bene Esse, Plene Esse.


Quarterly journal of the Episcopal Society for Ministry in Higher Education (ESMHE). The journal and its title are inspired by the image of Amos and other prophets who confronted Israel […]


From the Greek pneuma (wind, breath, spirit) and logia (doctrine), indicating that branch of Christian theology which deals with the Holy Spirit. Three aspects of the received doctrine are especially […]


(c. 1595-1617). Daughter of the powerful Indian chief Powhatan. While being held hostage at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1613, she was converted to Christianity and baptized as Rebecca by Alexander Whitaker. […]

Pohick Church, Lorton, Virginia

George Washington's parish church. A place of worship was first established near Lewis Heights, Fort Belvoir, in the seventeenth century. Some time prior to 1730 it was relocated near the […]


A method of marking the syllables of a psalm for chanting. It is used for Anglican Chant and Plainchant. See Anglican Chant; see Plainsong.

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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.