An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Central America, Missionary District of

On Nov. 13, 1956, the House of Bishops voted to divide the Missionary District of the Panama Canal Zone and create the Missionary District of Central America. It included the Republic of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Jurisdiction for Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras was transferred to the Episcopal Church from the […]

Central and South Mexico, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1904 established the Missionary District of Mexico. The 1972 General Convention divided the Missionary District of Mexico into the Missionary District of Central and South Mexico, the Missionary District of Western Mexico, and the Missionary District of Northern Mexico. All three of these Missionary Districts became dioceses. In 1988 the House […]

Central Brazil, Missionary District of

On Sept. 30, 1949, the House of Bishops divided the Missionary District of Southern Brazil into three missionary districts-Central Brazil, Southern Brazil, and Southwestern Brazil. On Oct. 20, 1964, the House of Bishops voted for an independent Brazilian church, and in 1965 the Episcopal Church of Brazil became an independent province of the Anglican Communion.

Central Florida, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1969 voted to divide the Diocese of South Florida into three dioceses, one of which was temporarily called the Diocese of South Florida. The primary convention met at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Orlando, on Dec. 3, 1969, and changed the name to the Diocese of Central Florida. St. Luke's […]

Central Gulf Coast, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1970 approved the creation of the Diocese of South Alabama and Northwest Florida. It held its primary convention at Christ Church, Pensacola, Dec. 3-5, 1970, and changed the name to the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. It consists of the following counties: Alabama: Baldwin, Barbour, Butler, Choctaw, Clark, Coffee, Conecuh, […]

Central New York, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1868 voted to divide the Diocese of Western New York and create the Diocese of Central New York. Its primary convention met at Trinity Church, Utica, and Grace Church, Utica, on Nov. 10-12, 1868. On Nov. 13, 1971, St. Paul's Church, Syracuse, was set apart as St. Paul's Cathedral. The Cathedral […]

Central Pennsylvania, Diocese of

1) The General Convention of 1904 voted to divide the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. The primary convention of the Diocese of Harrisburg met at St. James Church, Lancaster, on Nov. 29-30, 1904. On Jan. 27, 1932, St. Stephen's Church, Harrisburg, became St. Stephen's Cathedral. The name was changed to the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania on […]

Central Philippines, Diocese of

The 1901 General Convention established the Missionary District of the Philippines. In 1973 the Diocese of the Philippines was divided into three missionary districts. One of these was the Central Missionary District. In 1985 it became the Diocese of Central Philippines. In July 1988, the House of Bishops voted to release the Philippine Episcopal Church […]


The physical actions, gestures, and postures of public worship. Ceremonial may be distinguished from ritual, which concerns the prescribed words that are used in worship. The BCP rubrics provide directions and options concerning some matters of ceremonial. For example, the people may stand or kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer. The celebrant is directed to hold […]

Certain Trumpet, The

This journal was published at Norwalk, Connecticut, from Mar. 1972 until Feb. 1981. It was founded and edited by Perry Laukhuff, who wrote that “At Minneapolis [the 1976 General Convention], the Episcopal Church unilaterally altered the sacred Apostolic ministry by purporting to allow the ordination of women in the contravention of Christ's example, theological principle, […]

Certificate of Membership

Any member of a congregation in the Episcopal Church is entitled to a certificate of membership to indicate whether the member is a communicant and to indicate whether the member has been confirmed or received by a bishop. The member is enrolled in the new congregation upon presentation of this certificate, and removed from the […]

Chad, or Ceadda, Bishop of Lichfield

(d. Mar. 2, 672). He was one of Aidan's students at Lindisfarne. Around 665 he was consecrated Bishop of Mercia, and in Sept. 669 he moved the see to Lichfield. Chad is one of the most popular saints in English history. He is remembered for his simplicity, piety, and devotion to duty. He is commemorated […]

Chalcedon, Council of

The fourth of the Ecumenical Councils, held in 451 at Chalcedon, a town near Constantinople. The council was held in the wake of the decision delivered by the so-called “Robber Synod” of Ephesus in 449 that upheld the “one-nature” Christology of Eutychianism. That synod adjourned without giving the Roman delegation an opportunity to make the […]

Chalcedonian Definition

The Council of Chalcedon was summoned in 451 to consider the christological question in light of the “one-nature” picture of Christ proposed by Eutyches which prevailed at the “Robber Synod” of Ephesus in 449. The Council of Chalcedon promulgated the Definition of the Union of the Divine and Human Natures in the Person of Christ, […]


The cup for the wine that is consecrated and administered at the eucharist. The chalice normally has a footed base. It is appropriate for only one chalice to be on the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer, but additional chalices may be filled with consecrated wine as needed after the breaking of the bread. The chalice […]

Chalice Bearer

See Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM).

Chalice Veil

A square of material that covers the chalice and paten until they are needed for preparation of the altar at the eucharist. It typically matches the eucharistic vestments and the liturgical color of the day. The chalice veil is placed on top of the pall, which rests on top of the chalice and paten. A […]


Area of the church set apart for the altar, lectern, pulpit, credence table, and seats for officiating and assisting ministers. It may also include the choir. The chancel is typically raised somewhat above the level of the nave, where the congregation gathers. The chancel may be separated from the nave by a low screen, rail, […]

Chancel Rail

Low railing or lattice-work that separates the chancel from the nave in a traditionally designed church. The term “chancel,” a liturgical space near the altar for clergy and choir, is from the Latin cancellus, “lattice.” The chancel was separated from the nave in medieval churches by a rood screen or choir screen. Orthodox churches still […]


In the Episcopal Church a chancellor is a legal adviser appointed by the Presiding Bishop or a diocesan bishop. A chancellor advises the bishop and diocese on matters of secular and ecclesiastical law. A chancellor is usually an attorney at law.

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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.