An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


This musical instrument of twenty-three or more cast bronze bells ranges from two to six octaves, usually set in chromatic order like the keys of a piano. Instruments with fewer bells are called chimes. Unlike bells used in peals, carillon bells are stationary. Only the clappers move. They are activated by a carilloneur seated at […]


A person who plays a musical instrument known as a carillon.


The term carol finds its origin in the French carole, a round dance in which the singers provide their own music by singing a refrain after uniform stanzas sung by a soloist. English medieval carols are poetic works in a similar form. Carols appear in a pattern of uniform stanzas, each with a burden, or […]

Caroline Divines

This unorganized grouping of seventeenth-century churchmen and scholars flourished during the reign of King Charles I (d. 1649) and derived its name from him. They furthered the theological precepts established in the sixteenth century by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556); John Jewel (1522-1571), Bishop of Salisbury; and Richard Hooker (1554-1600), the great Elizabethan theologian. Taking strong […]

Case, Adelaide Teague

(Jan. 10, 1887-June 19, 1948). The first woman to be appointed to full professional rank in an Anglican seminary. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in New York City. She received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College in 1908, her M.A. in 1919, and her Ph.D. in 1924 from Columbia University. From […]

Casserley, Julian Victor Langmead

(Nov. 28, 1909-Aug. 27, 1978). Theologian. He was born in London and educated at the London School of Economics and King's College, London. Casserley was ordained deacon on Sept. 24, 1933, and priest on Sept. 30, 1934, both by the Bishop of Southwark in England. He served various churches in England until 1952 when he […]


A long, close-fitting garment with narrow sleeves worn by clergy and other ministers. Cassocks are typically black but also may be blue, gray, or red. Bishops may wear purple cassocks. It may be worn under a surplice. Historically, the cassock was the street garb of a person in clerical orders. It was part of the […]


The study of cases or situations in light of moral goods, principles, duties, and consequences. Casuistry arises from conflicts of conscience where in a particular situation more than one course of action appears good or bad, right or wrong. Called “cases of conscience,” casuistry sees moral reasoning and judgment as evolving as new circumstances lead […]

Caswall, Henry

(May 11, 1810-Dec. 17, 1870). Educator and writer. He was born in Yateley, Hampshire, England. On Aug. 16, 1828, Caswall left England for the United States. In Nov., 1830, he received his B.A. from Kenyon College. He was ordained deacon on June 12, 1831, and began his ministry in Portsmouth, Ohio. After about two years, […]


Temporary structure used to receive the coffin of a dead person, or to simulate the coffin when the body is not in the church. It was treated with the same respect that would be accorded to the body of the deceased. The term is from the Italian for scaffold. It is placed immediately outside the […]


This term describes those forms of spirituality which advocate meditation “according to or with images.” It emphasizes meditation on concrete symbols or biblical events using physical and spiritual senses. The Ignatian and Franciscan schools of spirituality are cataphatic. See Apophatic.


Systematic instruction and formation of adults for baptism, initiating them into the mysteries and life of Christian faith. This instruction is not merely informative but intended to form one's outlook on life, values, and identity as a Christian. The instruction takes place in the context of the prayers and life of the Christian community. It […]


Outline for instruction in the Christian faith presented in a question and answer format. The Catechism appears in the BCP as “An Outline of the Faith” (pp. 845-862). Although the Catechism serves as a commentary on the creeds, it is not intended to be a complete statement of belief and practice. It provides a brief […]


A teacher, lay or ordained, who provides instruction in the Christian faith. The BCP (pp 845-862) provides “An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism,” as a point of departure for this process of instruction. A confirmed adult lay person may be licensed as a catechist by the bishop or ecclesiastical authority of the […]


An adult preparing for baptism who has been admitted to participation in the catechumenate.


An organized time of Christian formation and education in preparation for baptism. The catechumenate is a time for training in Christian understandings about God, human relationships, and the meaning of life. According to Hippolytus's Apostolic Tradition, a third-century document, adult converts to the Christian faith were presented to teachers by those who could vouch for […]


Official seat or throne of the bishop in the cathedral of the diocese. The cathedra is considered to be the oldest insignia of the bishop's authority to preside over the church in the diocese. Historically, the bishop preached the sermon and presided at the eucharist from the cathedra, which was located in the center of […]


A church that contains the diocesan bishop's seat, throne, or cathedra. The cathedral is the principal church of the diocese. As the symbol and center of diocesan ministry, the cathedral is an appropriate place for diocesan celebrations and episcopal services. The dean is the clergyperson with pastoral charge of the cathedral. The dean may be […]

Cathedral Car

Bishop William D. Walker of North Dakota faced many difficulties in his missionary work. He conceived the idea of a traveling chapel which would carry the church to those outlying places where there were no facilities for services. In 1889 he approached friends in the east for money to build a railway chapel. The sixty-foot […]

Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, The

George Washington was the first person to suggest a “great church for national purposes in the capital city.” In 1893 Congress granted a charter to the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation of the District of Columbia that empowered it to establish a cathedral. In 1898 Bishop Henry Yates Satterlee arranged the purchase of fifty-seven acres, which […]

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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.