An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


See Book of Occasional Services, The (BOS).

Bosher, Robert Semple

(May 27, 1911-Dec. 29, 1976). Priest and church historian. He was born in Richmond, Virginia. Bosher received his B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1932, his S.T.B. from General […]

Boucher, Jonathan

(Mar. 12, 1738-Apr. 27, 1804). Tory clergyman. He was born in Blencogo, parish of Bromfield, Cumberland County, England. He came to Virginia in 1759 to serve as tutor for two […]

Bowden, John

(Jan. 7, 1751-July 31, 1817). Priest and educator. He was born in Ireland. Bowden came to the American colonies at an early age. For two years he was a student […]

Bowie, Walter Russell

(Oct. 8, 1882-Apr. 23, 1969). Seminary professor and renowned preacher. Born in Richmond, Virginia, Bowie received his B.A. in 1904 and his M.A. in 1905, both from Harvard. He received […]

Boyle, Sarah Patton

(May 9, 1906-Feb. 21, 1994). Outstanding Episcopal opponent to segregation in the era of the civil rights movement. She was born in Albemarle County, Virginia. In the late 1940s she […]

Bragg, George Freeman, Jr.

(Jan. 25, 1863-Mar. 12, 1940). African American civil rights leader, priest, editor, and author. He was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, and grew up in Petersburg, Virginia, where he studied […]

Bratton, Theodore DuBose

(Nov. 11, 1862-June 26, 1944). Bishop and educator. Bratton was born near Winnsboro, South Carolina, and his mother was the sister of William Porcher DuBose. He studied at the Sewanee […]

Bray, Thomas

(1656-Feb. 15, 1730). Commissary to Maryland and Founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He was born in Marton, Shropshire, […]

Bray’s Associates

Thomas Bray (1656-1730) was deeply interested in the English colonies. While visiting Holland, he met Monsieur Abel Tassin, who was commonly known as Sieur d'Allone. D'Allone provided in his will […]


A metal bowl containing coals for burning incense. It is sometimes used in worship in place of the thurible, which is an incense bowl swinging from hand-held chains.

Brazil, Missionary District of

The mission to Brazil began on Aug. 31, 1889 when James Watson Morris (1859-1954) and Lucien Lee Kinsolving (1862-1929) sailed for Brazil as missionaries. On Oct. 20, 1898, the House […]


See Elements, Eucharistic.

Breaking of the Bread, The (The Fraction)

The breaking of the consecrated bread for distribution by the celebrant at the eucharist. The fraction also recalls Christ's body as broken for us and our salvation. The breaking of […]

Breastplate of St

Patrick. An ancient Irish hymn, “I bind unto myself today,” which appears as Hymn 370 in The Hymnal 1982. It is a Celtic lorica, or breastplate prayer, which was recited […]

Breck, James Lloyd

(June 27, 1818-Mar. 30, 1876). Founder of Nashotah House and Seabury Divinity School. He was born in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and educated at Flushing Institute, Flushing, New York. He graduated […]

Brent, Charles Henry

(Apr. 9, 1862-Mar. 27, 1929). Bishop and ecumenist. He was born in Newcastle, Ontario. Brent graduated from Trinity College, University of Toronto, in 1884, and then spent two years studying […]


A liturgical book used for recitation of the Divine Office (Canonical Hours). It includes psalms, lessons, hymns, prayers, antiphons, and readings from patristic sources and other Christian writers. The breviary […]

Bridges, Robert Seymour

(Oct. 23, 1844-Apr. 21, 1930). Poet and hymn composer. He was born in Walmer on the Island of Thanet, Kent. He was educated at Eton and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, […]

Briggs, Charles Augustus

(Jan. 15, 1841-June 8, 1913). OT scholar and biblical critic. He was born in New York City, and studied at the University of Virginia, 1857-1860; Union Theological Seminary, New York, […]

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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.