An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors, A

This small volume of ninety-one pages was published by the Army and Navy Commission of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1941. It was sent as a gift to those serving […]

Prayer Book Preface

The Preface printed in every edition of the American BCP is an abbreviated form of the Preface prepared for the Proposed BCP of 1786 by the Rev. Dr. William Smith, […]

Prayer Book Studies

A series of booklets issued by the Standing Liturgical Commission beginning in 1950 making proposals for the revision of the BCP. Prayer Book Studies 16 proposed the method adopted to […]

Prayer Desk

See Litany Desk; see Prie-Dieu.

Prayer, Principal Kinds of

The principal kinds of prayer include adoration, praise, thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession, and petition. (see BCP, pp. 856-857, and individual entries for each of the principal kinds of prayer).

Prayers of the People

The BCP uses the title “Prayers of the People” for the oratio fidelium or general intercessions in the eucharist. Such prayers have a long and venerable history. Their existence was […]

Prayers We Have in Common

See International Consultation on English Texts (ICET) (1969).

Pre-Lenten Season

The observance of a period of a few weeks in preparation for Lent. Septuagesima Sunday was the first Sunday of the Pre-Lenten season. It was the third Sunday before Lent […]

Pre-Sanctified, Mass of the

Celebration of communion with previously consecrated eucharistic elements, in a eucharistic liturgy without a prayer of consecration. It makes possible eucharistic sharing on days of fasting when the eucharist is […]


The one who preaches the sermon. In some Protestant churches, the term is used as a title for a member of the clergy. See Preaching.


The event and act of proclaiming the Word of God through a sermon or homily. Preaching interprets the gospel tradition in light of faith and in the context of the […]

Preaching Bands

See Preaching Tabs.

Preaching Gown

A long, flowing black garment that may be worn by the preacher with cassock and preaching tabs. It may have full, bell-shaped sleeves, and velvet bands.

Preaching Scarf

See Tippet.

Preaching Station

A location where worship services occur. These services may take place on a regular or an irregular basis. The place of meeting may or may not be set apart for […]

Preaching Tabs

White starched tabs that may be worn over the neck of the cassock, making an inverted “V” shape. They are also known as preaching bands. They may be worn by […]


A cathedral benefice, defined in English canon law as an endowment in land or pension in money, was given to a cathedral for maintenance of a secular priest or regular […]


Unknown in America, a prebendary in the Church of England is basically an honorary title given to the holder of a prebend. The income of a prebend is now paid […]

Precedence, Rules of

The calendar of the church year provides rules of precedence concerning principal feasts, Sundays, holy days, days of special devotion, and days of optional observance (BCP, pp. 15-18). These rules […]


1) The music director of a cathedral, monastic, or collegiate church. 2) The cantor or singer who introduces a chant. The term is from the Latin, “to sing before.”

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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.