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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]


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. […]


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 […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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.