An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Baptismal Covenant

The rite of Christian initiation contains a series of vows, made by all present, called the “baptismal covenant” (BCP, pp. 304-305). After the candidates have renounced evil and committed themselves […]

Baptismal Creed, The

The Apostles' Creed, which is stated by the people in the baptismal covenant (BCP, p. 304). The affirmations of the Apostles' Creed are made by the people in response to […]

Baptismal Feasts

Baptism is especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints' Day or the Sunday after All Saints' Day, and the Feast of the Baptism of our […]

Baptismal Regeneration

The doctrine that at baptism the candidates are not only initiated into the Christian community but are also “born again.” That is, the Holy Spirit pours upon them the gift […]

Baptismal Vows, The Renewal of

See Renewal of Baptismal Vows.

Baptistry, or Baptistery

The liturgical space where the font is located for the celebration of baptism. The baptistry may be a portion of the church set aside for baptisms, a side chapel, or […]

Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

The Rt. Rev. Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, Provisional Bishop of New York, and the Rev. John McVickar, superintendent of the Society for Promoting Religion and Learning, both urged the diocese to […]

Barnabas the Apostle, Saint

( He was a Levite from Cyprus, and one of the leading members of the early church at Jerusalem. Originally named Joseph, the apostles gave him the Aramaic surname Barnabas, […]

Barnes, Calvin Rankin

(Mar. 23, 1891-Mar. 26, 1976). Priest and national church leader. He was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Barnes received his B.A. from the University of California in 1912, and his B.D. […]

Baroque Architecture

A florid, highly ornamented style of architectural decoration. It appeared in Italy in the late Renaissance and became prevalent on the continent of Europe in the late eighteenth century. It […]

Barrett, Kate Harwood Waller

(Jan. 24, 1858-Feb. 23, 1925). Pioneer in Progressive Era women's ministries. She was born in Falmouth, Virginia. She attended the Arlington Institute for Girls in Alexandria. On July 19, 1876, […]

Bartholomew the Apostle, Saint.

One of the twelve apostles. His name appears only in the listings of the Twelve in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts. Many believe he is the Nathanael mentioned in John. […]

Basil the Great

(c. 330-Jan. 1, 379). Principal architect of monasticism in the east. He was born in Caesarea in Cappadocia. After his baptism in 357, Basil founded a monastery on a family […]


Church building designed according to the architectural style of a Roman basilica, which served as a law court and commercial exchange. Roman basilicas were used for Christian worship after Constantine […]

Bass, Edward

(Nov. 23, 1726-Sept. 10, 1803). First Bishop of Massachusetts. He was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard in 1744. After graduation, Bass remained at Harvard for theological studies, […]

Batterson, Hermon Griswold

(May 28, 1827-Mar. 9, 1903). Priest and prominent nineteenth-century Anglo-catholic. He was born at Marbledale, Litchfield County, Connecticut. Batterson was educated privately. He was ordained deacon on Nov. 17, 1861, […]

Bayne, Stephen Fielding, Jr.

(May 11, 1908-Jan. 18, 1974). Bishop and first executive of the Anglican Communion. He was born in New York City. Bayne received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1929 and […]


See Book of Common Prayer, The (BCP)

Beach, Abraham

(Sept. 9, 1740-Sept. 14, 1828). Missionary and Loyalist. Born in Cheshire, Connecticut, Beach graduated from Yale in 1747, became an Episcopalian, and studied for the ministry under Samuel Johnson. He […]

Beardsley, Eben Edwards

(Jan. 8, 1818-Dec. 21, 1891). Leading historian of the Episcopal Church. Born in Stepney, Connecticut, Beardsley graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, in 1832. He was ordained deacon on Aug. 11, […]

2647 records

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.