An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


l) A sacerdotal pronouncement of God's love and favor, addressed to one or more persons. The BCP prescribes forms of blessing to be used by a bishop or priest prior to the dismissal in Rite 1 eucharistic liturgies. Although no form of blessing is required in the Rite 2 eucharistic liturgies, all four Rite 2 […]

Bliss, William Dwight Porter

(Aug. 20, 1856-Oct. 8, 1926). Priest and social reformer. He was born in Constantinople, the son of missionaries. He received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1878 and his B.D. from the Hartford Theological Seminary in 1882. After several years as a Congregationalist minister, he became an Episcopalian. He was ordained deacon on June 16, […]

Blood Theology

In the OT “blood” denotes life, especially the life of a sacrificial animal poured out in death. In the NT it denotes the sacrificial death of Christ inaugurating the new covenant in which the faithful partake in the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:25). Blood theology typically concerns the saving benefits of Christ's sacrifice on the […]

Bloomer, Amelia Jenks

(May 27, 1818-Dec. 30, 1894). Social reformer. She was born in Homer, Cortland County, New York. She married Dexter C. Bloomer, editor of the Seneca County Courier. With his encouragement, she began to publish articles in newspapers on moral and social issues. Bloomer was baptized at Trinity Episcopal Church, Seneca Falls. She attended the first […]

Bloy House

See Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (Bloy House).

Blue Book

A book containing reports from boards, committees, and commissions for the General Convention. It is distributed to delegates and other participants prior to General Convention. The first "Blue Book" was published for the sixty-fourth General Convention, Oct. 11-Oct. 29, 1973, which met at Louisville, Kentucky. It was entitled The Blue Book: Supplement. The name is […]

Blue Box (Bishop Gordon’s Airplane in Alaska)

In 1952 the United Thank Offering appropriated money to purchase a Cessna 170 airplane for Bishop William Gordon of Alaska. The plane was named after the “blue box” that the women used to raise funds for their projects. A replica of a “blue box” was painted on the plane. A year later, a second plane, […]

Blue Box (UTO)

Also called “mite boxes,” these small, blue, cardboard boxes are used to collect funds for the United Thank Offering, sponsored by the Episcopal Church Women. The name was first used at the General Convention of 1925. Mary Abbot Emery, first secretary of the Women's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions, and Mrs. Richard Soule of […]

Boise, Missionary District of

The 1898 General Convention changed the name of the Missionary District of Wyoming and Idaho to the Missionary District of Boise. It was in existence until Oct. 10, 1907, when the General Convention formed the Missionary District of Wyoming and the Missionary District of Idaho.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

(Feb. 4, 1906-Apr. 9, 1945). Pastor and theologian. He was born in Breslau, Germany. Bonhoeffer began his theological studies at Tübingen University but moved to Berlin University. In 1927 he received the licentiate in theology, summa cum laude, and defended his doctoral dissertation. It was published as The Communion of Saints (1927). In 1929 Bonhoeffer […]


(c. 680-June 5, 754). The “Apostle of Germany,” he was born near Crediton in Devonshire, England, and was originally named Winfred. He was educated in abbeys at Exeter and Nursling, near Winchester. Boniface spent most of his life doing missionary work in Frisia, Thuringia, Hesse, and Bavaria. He was consecrated bishop in 722, was made […]

Bonn Agreement

This agreement grew out of a meeting of representatives of the Old Catholic churches of Holland, Germany, and Switzerland, and of the Church of England, at Bonn, Germany, July 2, 1931. The Bonn Agreement states that 1) Each Communion recognizes the catholicity of the other and maintains its own; 2) Each Communion agrees to admit […]

Book Annexed, The

A shortened form of the title of The Book Annexed to the Report of the Joint Committee on the Book of Common Prayer Appointed by the General Convention of MDCCCLXXX or of The Book Annexed . . . As Modified by the Action of the General Convention of MDCCCLXXXIII. These books were published in 1883 […]

Book of Common Prayer, The (BCP)

Official book of worship of the Episcopal Church. The BCP provides liturgical forms, prayers, and instructions so that all members and orders of the Episcopal Church may appropriately share in common worship. Anglican liturgical piety has been rooted in the Prayer Book tradition since the publication of the first English Prayer Book in 1549. The […]

Book of Homilies

In 1547, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury (1533-1556), issued his Book of Homilies. This was a time when many clergy did not want to preach, and when they did, some preached inflammatory sermons. Readings from the Book of Homilies were intended to insure that congregations of the Church of England would hear only officially approved […]

Book of Occasional Services, The (BOS)

Book of optional services and texts prepared by the Standing Liturgical Commission in response to a directive from the General Convention of 1976 to replace The Book of Offices (third edition, 1960). The services and texts of the BOS are available for “occasional” pastoral and liturgical needs of congregations. The BOS includes special materials for […]

Book of Offices, The

A collection of offices for specific purposes and occasions “which occur in the work of Bishops and other Clergy.” It was first published in 1940. It includes forms for the dedication of various buildings and forms for the blessing of articles of church furniture. It was contrasted with The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory […]

Boone College, Wuchang, China

The Bishop Boone Memorial School, a boarding school, opened in Wuchang in Sept., 1871, with three students. It was named after Bishop William Jones Boone, the first Episcopal Bishop of China. It was raised to the rank of college in 1905 and graduated its first class in 1906. It was incorporated as a university in […]

Boone, William Jones

(July 1, 1811-July 17, 1874). First foreign Missionary Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was born in Walterborough, South Carolina, and graduated from the College of South Carolina in 1829. He was admitted to the bar in 1833 but decided to enter the ordained ministry. After studying for a while at the Virginia Theological Seminary, […]

Boone, William Jones, Jr.

(Apr. 17, 1846-Oct. 5, 1891). Missionary bishop. He was born in Shanghai, China. Boone graduated from Princeton in 1865. He then studied at the Philadelphia Divinity School and the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon on July 26, 1868, and priest on Oct. 28, 1870. Boone was appointed to the mission at Wuchang, China, […]

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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.