An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Sullivan, Arthur Seymour

(May 13, 1842-Nov. 22, 1900). English composer. He was born in London. Sullivan was educated as a chorister in the Chapel Royal (1854-1858), the Royal Academy of Music, and at […]

Summary of the Law, The

The Summary of the Law includes the two commandments that call for the love of God and the love of neighbor. These commandments appear separately in the OT (Dt 6:5; […]

Sunday Church School

The first Episcopal Sunday Church School was opened in 1790 by James Milnor and Jackson Kemper at the United Parish of Christ Church and St. Peter’s, Philadelphia. William White was […]

Sunday Letter

One of the first seven letters of the alphabet, “A” through “g,” is assigned to each date in the calendar year (except Feb. 29) in rotation in the Prayer Book […]

Sunday Visitant

This periodical was the second weekly publication in the Episcopal Church. It began publication on Jan. 3, 1818, at Charleston, South Carolina. Its full title was Sunday Visitant; or Weekly […]


The person who has been designated as the head or presider of a religious community. The superior is typically elected for a term of years by the members of the […]

Supplemental Liturgical Materials (SLM)

A booklet prepared by the Standing Liturgical Commission and published by Church Hymnal Corporation in 1991 to supplement the existing Rite 2 liturgies of the BCP. It includes materials for […]

Supplemental Liturgical Texts, Prayer Book Studies 30

See Prayer Book Studies; see Supplemental Liturgical Materials (SLM).

Suter, John Wallace

(Dec. 1, 1859-Apr. 11, 1942). Priest and liturgist. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Suter received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1881 and his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological […]

Suter, John Wallace, Jr.

(June 18, 1890-Nov. 27, 1977). He was born in Winchester, Massachusetts. Suter received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1912 and his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School in 1914. […]


A process of congregational self-evaluation for mission and ministry. The name is an acronym for five aspects of church mission as expressed in “The Next Step in Mission”: service, worship, […]

Syle, Henry Winter

(Nov. 9, 1846-Jan. 6, 1890). First hearing-impaired person ordained in the Episcopal Church. He was born in Shanghai, China, and lost his hearing as a result of scarlet fever. He […]


The function of conscience as a guide to conduct. The term may be derived from the Greek, “consciousness,” hence our term conscience. Because of a scribal error, it is often […]


This term comes from the Greek synodos, “a meeting” or “a coming together.” It means an assembly of bishops or a meeting of church people. Before the Council of Nicaea […]


See Syneidesis.

Systematic Theology

An approach to theology that integrates revealed truths and theological reflection into a coherent whole. For example, systematic theology may be applied to consider how salvation in Christ is made […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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.