An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

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 […]

Religious House

A place of residence for a religious community or a branch house operated by or for a religious order. The term may be used as a synonym for a monastery […]

Religious Life

The life that is lived under the obligation of the traditional vows in a religious community. In a broad sense it may designate the life of any person that is […]

Religious Order

A society of Christians who voluntarily commit themselves for life or a term of years to living a celibate life in community, holding possessions in common with other community members, […]


A container for religious relics. It is used to protect and exhibit the relic. Reliquaries have often been made of precious metals or other costly materials or glass. Some reliquaries […]

Remigius of Reims

(c. 438-c. 533). “Apostle of the Franks.” He was born in Laon, France. At the age of twenty-two he was consecrated the Bishop of Reims. Remigius is remembered for converting […]

Remission of Sins

To remit is to refrain from enforcing a punishment. Remission of sins generally means forgiveness and absolution of sins. However, the suggestion of remitted punishment recalls a juridical understanding of […]

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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.