An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Reception of the Body (At Time of Death)

The BCP provides a form of prayers for use when the body is brought to the church prior to the burial service (pp. 466-467). The form includes prayers for the […]


The belief that the eucharistic elements of bread and wine are unchanged during the prayer of consecration but that the faithful believer receives the body and blood of Christ in […]


The traditional methods of psalmody, whether spoken or sung, are direct recitation, antiphonal recitation, and responsorial recitation. Direct recitation means the reading or singing of the entire psalm or portion […]

Reciting Note

A note found in each half of a psalm tone on which much of the text is sung. Its duration is determined by the length of the text to which […]

Recognition and Investiture of a Diocesan Bishop

This is one of the “Episcopal Services” in the BOS. It is designed for the recognition, investiture, and seating of a bishop who has already been ordained and consecrated. The […]

Reconciliation of a Penitent

Sacramental rite in which those who repent may confess their sins to God in the presence of a priest and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution […]

Recorder (of Ordinations)

A person or incorporated organization of the Episcopal Church is elected by the House of Deputies upon nomination of the House of Bishops “to continue the List of Ordinations and […]


The priest in charge of a parish. Typically, a rector is the priest in charge of a self-supporting parish, and a vicar is the priest in charge of a supported […]


A house owned by the parish and provided for the rector's home. Such provided housing has been known as “the parsonage” and “the manse” in other traditions.

Red-letter Days

Major feasts of the church year, including the principal feasts, feasts of our Lord, feasts of all apostles, evangelists, and other major saints' days and festivals. The term reflects the […]

Redaction Criticism

The German word “redaction” is best translated as editing. The main point of this exegetical method is to find an understanding of the techniques and thoughts used by the redactor […]


Savior. One who pays a price to buy back something, to liberate a person or a people from bondage, or to save a life that was legally forfeit. In the […]


See Redeemer.


A room where meals are shared. The term is from the Latin, “to restore” or “refresh.” This term has been applied to the room used for meals in monasteries or […]

Reformed Episcopal Church

The denomination emerged out of the high church—low church controversy of the mid-nineteenth century. Assistant Bishop David Cummins of Kentucky and Charles Edward Cheney, rector of Christ Church, Chicago, were […]

Regina Coeli

Latin for “Queen of Heaven,” the phrase refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Regina Coeli is also the beginning of a devotion, common in some Anglo-catholic circles, used during the […]

Registrar (of the General Convention)

The Registrar maintains all journals and other records of the General Convention, and maintains records of all ordinations and consecrations of bishops in the Episcopal Church. The Registrar is a […]

Regular Clergy (Regulars)

Historically, priests who have taken solemn vows and live in a religious community under a rule of life. The term “regular” is from the Latin, “rule.” These priests may be […]


The material remains of the body of a saint or martyr after death, such as bones, teeth, or hair. Relics may also include objects that have been in direct contact […]


1) Concerning religion or belief in the divine. 2) A technical term indicating a religious order or congregation in which the members voluntarily commit themselves by vows for life, or […]

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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.