An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


According to Ex 25-30, 35-40, the Tabernacle was a portable sanctuary of the Israelites. It was constructed at Sinai in connection with the making of the covenant. It was to be a place of sacrifice and worship. Rectangular in shape, the Tabernacle had a wooden framework and was covered with curtains. Its two main sections […]

Taiwan, Diocese of

The Missionary District of Taiwan (Formosa) was transferred to the Episcopal Church from the Nippon Seikokai on July 6, 1960. It is now a Diocese of the Episcopal Church.

Taizé Chant

This form of contemporary liturgical song was first developed for use by the ecumenical Christian community at Taizé, France. It uses repetitive structures that can easily be memorized, along with other parts for solo voices, choirs, and instruments. Jacques Berthier prepared the musical settings for Taizé chant. In recent years it has gained acceptance and […]

Talbot, Ethelbert

(Oct. 9, 1848-Feb. 27, 1928). Fifteenth Presiding Bishop and ecumenist. He was born in Fayette, Missouri. Talbot graduated from Dartmouth College in 1870 and from the General Theological Seminary in 1873. He was ordained deacon on June 29, 1873, and priest on Nov. 4, 1874. From 1873 until 1887, he was rector of St. James' […]

Talbot, John

(1645-Nov. 29, 1727). Leading advocate for a bishop for the American colonies. He was born in Wymondham, Norfolk, England. Talbot studied at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he received his B.A. in 1664 and his M.A. in 1671. He was a fellow of Peterhouse, 1664 to 1668, and was rector of a church in Icklingham, Suffolk, […]

Talbot, Joseph Cruikshank

(Sept. 5, 1816-Jan. 15, 1883). Missionary Bishop of the Northwest. He was born in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1835 Talbot moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and in 1837 was confirmed in the Episcopal Church. He studied for ordination under Bishop Benjamin B. Smith. Talbot was ordained deacon on Sept. 5, 1846, and priest on Sept. 6, 1848. […]

Tallis, Thomas

(c. 1505-1585). Musician and composer, often called the “father of English Church music.” Tallis was possibly born in Kent, England. His early years as a musician were spent in the service of the Roman Catholic Church, primarily at Waltham Abbey from 1538 to 1540 when the monasteries were dissolved. He was subsequently a lay clerk […]

Tantum Ergo

See Pange Lingua.

Taylor, Jeremy

(Aug. 15, 1613-Aug. 13, 1667). Leader among the “Caroline Divines.” He was born in Cambridge, England. Taylor studied at Gonville and Gaius College, Cambridge. He was ordained in 1633. He was a fellow at All Souls' College, Oxford, and in 1638 he became rector of Uppingham. Taylor was a zealous supporter of the royal cause. […]

Te Deum laudamus

Canticle of praise named for its opening words in Latin. It appears as Canticles 7 and 21 in the BCP (pp. 52-53, 95-96). The traditional language Canticle 7 is also known as “We Praise Thee,” and the contemporary language Canticle 21 is also known as “You are God.” This hymn of praise dates from the […]

Team Ministry

A cooperative approach to parish ministry in which the entire ministry team shares responsibility for formulating the overall vision of ministry. The ministry team may include youth ministers, Christian education directors, secretaries, musicians, and others, along with the parish clergy. Team ministry emphasizes the importance of each member's perspective and contribution. Maintaining the integrity of […]

Temple, William

(Oct. 15, 1881-Oct. 26, 1944). The only son of an Archbishop of Canterbury to become the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was born in Exeter, England. Temple was educated at Rugby and then at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1904 he became a fellow at Queen's College, Oxford. In 1906 he was refused ordination by Bishop Francis […]


The section of a service book such as a missal or breviary that provided the variable portions of services for seasons of the church year that were centered on the date of Christmas or Easter, and not the fixed dates of the church calendar. The propers for the fixed holy days appeared in the Sanctorale, […]

Ten Commandments, The

The commands, also known as the decalogue or Ten Words, given by God at Sinai in connection with the making of the covenant (Ex 20:1-17). Another slightly different version appears in the extended homily Moses delivers shortly before the entrance of the Hebrews into the Promised Land (Dt. 5:6-21). The Sinai version precedes the large […]


This form of the monastic office (matins and lauds) is commonly adapted for congregational use during Holy Week. The office is structured around psalms, readings, and responsories. A distinguishing characteristic of this service is the series of readings from Lamentations which appear early in the office. The distinctive ceremonial of Tenebrae includes use of fifteen […]

Tennessee, Diocese of

The primary convention of the Diocese of Tennessee was held in Nashville on July 1-2, 1829. The 1982 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of Tennessee into the dioceses of Tennessee, East Tennessee, and West Tennessee. The Diocese of Tennessee includes the following counties: Bedford, Canon, Cheatham, Clay, Coffee, Davidson, DeKalb, Dickson, Fentress, Franklin, […]

Terce, Sext, None

Traditional monastic offices that were recited at 9 a.m., “the third hour” (terce), 12 noon, “the sixth hour” (sext), and 3 p.m., “the ninth hour” (none). These canonical hours of the breviary office were known as little hours or little offices. The early Christian church followed the Jewish custom of community prayers at sunrise and […]

Teresa of Avila

(Mar. 28, 1515-Oct. 4, 1582). Monastic reformer. She was born in Avila, Spain. In 1534 Teresa entered the monastery of the Incarnation of the Carmelite nuns in Avila. While a nun she had numerous visions. In 1559 Teresa had a vision in which she was convinced that Christ was present to her in bodily form, […]


A member of a third order of a religious community. See Third Order.

Terwilliger, Robert Elwin

(Aug. 28, 1917-June 3, 1991). Bishop and founding director of Trinity Institute, New York. He was born in Cortland, New York. He received his B.A. from Syracuse University in 1939, his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School in 1943, his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1948, and his S.T.M. from General Theological Seminary in 1949. […]

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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.