An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

St Thomas Choir School, New York City

A boarding school for boys in fifth through eighth grades who sing in the choir of St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It was founded in 1919 under the direction of Dr. T. Tertius Noble, organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas Church. It is one of the few remaining choir schools […]

St Thomas Church, New York

This parish was organized on Dec. 25, 1823. The first church building was constructed in 1824-1825, at the corner of Broadway and Houston Street. The present building, erected in 1868-1870, and designed by Richard Upjohn, is at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street. The cornerstone of this building was laid on Oct. […]

Standing Commissions

See Commissions of the General Convention; See Standing Commissions alphabetized by subject.

Standing Committee

The ecclesiastical authority of the diocese in the absence of a bishop. The Canons of 1789 made four references to an organization known as the Standing Committee. It formed its duties over the next forty-three years. In 1832 the General Convention brought all the functions of the Standing Committee under Canon Four, adding that where […]

Stanley, Clifford Leland

(Mar. 16, 1902-Oct. 11, 1994). Theologian and professor. He was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Stanley received his B.A. in 1924 and his M.A. in 1925, both from the University of Virginia. He received his B.D. in 1928 from the Virginia Theological Seminary. Stanley was ordained deacon on June 5, 1928, and priest on Dec. 19, […]

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady

(Nov. 12, 1815-Oct. 26, 1902). Women's rights leader. She was born in Johnstown, New York. Stanton graduated from Emma Willard's Female Seminary in Troy, New York, in 1832. She had an early interest in the abolition of slavery and the temperance movement. Stanton attended the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London with her husband, Henry Stanton, […]

Stephen, Saint, Deacon and Martyr

(First Christian martyr. He was a Hellenist, a Greek-speaking Jew born and reared outside Palestine. His name is Greek, meaning “crown.” He was one of the seven chosen by the Jerusalem congregation to see that the Hellenistic Jewish Christians got their fair share of the contributions. Stephen's preaching caused a revolution in the attitude of […]


Our personal response to God's generosity in the way we share our resources of time, talent, and money. Stewardship reflects our commitment to making God's love known through the realities of human life and our use of all that God has given us. It is also our service to God's world and our care of […]

Stewart, Marshall Boyer

(Sept. 4, 1880-July 28, 1956). Educator and theologian. He was born in Galveston, Texas. He received his B.A. in 1902 and his M.A. in 1907, both from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. He received his B.D. from the General Theological Seminary in 1906. Stewart was ordained deacon on June 18, 1905, and priest on Dec. 21, […]


Wounds, like those of Christ's, imprinted on the body of a believer by a special act of divine grace or by an involuntary psychosomatic process. Actual self-inflicted wounds are not stigmata. St. Francis of Assisi is said to have received the stigmata in the thirteenth century. The attitude of the church towards stigmata is guarded.

Stir-up Sunday

The emphasis for the last Sunday before Advent is different in the 1979 BCP. Although Christ the King Sunday is not officially celebrated in the Episcopal Church, the collect for the last Sunday of the liturgical year (Proper 29) in the 1979 BCP prays that all the peoples of the earth may be brought together […]

Stokes, Olivia Egleston Phelps

(Jan. 11, 1847-Dec. 14, 1927), and Caroline Phelps Stokes (Dec. 4, 1854-Apr. 26, 1909). Benefactors to African Americans. Both sisters were born in New York City and never married. The family was Presbyterian, but the sisters in later years joined the Episcopal Church. They are primarily known for their philanthropy to charitable and religious enterprises. […]

Stole Fee

Payment to clergy for officiating at a church service, usually a baptism, a marriage, or a funeral. The term is derived from the stole typically worn by the member of the clergy person while officiating.

Stowe, Walter Herbert

(Jan. 22, 1895-Jan. 2, 1989). Historian and writer. He was born in Waterville, Minnesota. Stowe received his B.A. in 1915 from the University of Minnesota and his B.D. in 1918 from Seabury Hall Divinity School. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 16, 1917, and priest on Feb. 2, 1919. Stowe was master of Shattuck School, […]

Stowe’s Clerical Directory of the American Church

In 1916 Frederick Ebenezer John Lloyd sold his Lloyd's Clerical Directory to the Rev. Andrew David Stowe (1851-1925). It became Stowe's Clerical Directory. It was published under that title in 1917, 1920, 1924, 1926, 1929, 1932, 1935, and 1938. In 1941 it became Stowe's Clerical Directory of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States […]

Stringfellow, William

(Apr. 26, 1928-Mar. 2, 1985). Theologian, activist, and Episcopal layman. He was born in Cranston, Rhode Island. He attended Bates College and the London School of Economics. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1956. He then began a private legal practice in Harlem, where he lived. He defended the legal rights of poor African […]

Stuck, Hudson

(Nov. 11, 1863-Oct. 10, 1920). Missionary to Alaska. He was born in Paddington, London, England. Stuck was educated at King's College, London. In 1885 he came to the United States and became an acting principal in the public schools of San Angelo, Texas. In 1889 he entered the Theological Department of the University of the […]

Suffragan Bishop

A suffragan bishop is an assisting bishop who does not automatically succeed a diocesan bishop. A suffragan bishop may be elected bishop or bishop coadjutor. In 1814 James Kemp was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Maryland, even though the office was not authorized by the Episcopal Church's Constitution. From 1829 until 1910, different General Conventions discussed […]


These petitionary versicles and responses precede the collects in the Daily Offices (see, e.g., BCP pp. 97-98, 121-122). The suffrages in the BCP are based on those in the Sarum offices, although Suffrages B for Evening Prayer are from a Byzantine evening litany. They are responsive prayers of petition which are usually concluded with a […]

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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.