An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Chandler, Thomas Bradbury

(Apr. 26, 1726-Apr. 20, 1790). An Anglican parson in New Jersey and a Loyalist at a time when adherence to the Church of England and the British Crown were increasingly […]

Change Ringing

The ringing of tower bells of different tones in a precise relationship to each other in order to produce a pleasing cascade of sound. The sequence of bells is varied […]

Chant, Chanting

Singing liturgical prose texts to the rhythm of speech. The term is from the Latin cantus, “song.” Since ancient times, psalms and canticles, prayers, dialogue, scripture, and other liturgical texts […]


An endowment or foundation for the saying of masses and prayers for the founder. It is also the place where the endowed masses are said. This may be a chapel […]


A building or structure for worship that is not a church. Chapels may be found in public institutions, such as schools and hospitals. Chapels may also be found on private […]

Chapel of Ease

A chapel located at a distance from its mother church where services are held for the convenience of parishioners who live near it. Clergy leadership is usually provided by the […]


A person who serves a chapel, or exercises a nonparochial ministry. Chaplains serve in a variety of public institutions, including schools, hospitals, and prisons. Chaplains in special settings may or […]


See Chaplain.


See Rosary.


A regular assembly of members of an ecclesiastical organization with responsibility for the organization's governance. For example, the meeting of those with the responsibilities of a vestry for a cathedral […]

Chapter House

Building used for official meetings of those with responsibility for the governance of a religious house or cathedral. Separate buildings for this purpose date from the ninth century. The voting […]

Character (Sacramental)

The term transliterates the Greek word which literally means an impress or impression, as on a coin or a seal. It is used metaphorically in Heb 1:3 to refer to […]

Charismata, or Charismatic Gifts

The term is the plural form for the Greek charisma, “gift of grace.” In a Christian context, it refers to divine gifts that enable the believer to fulfill his or […]


Concerning gifts of the Spirit. The term is derived from the Greek charisma, “gift.” In 1 Cor 12, St. Paul describes a variety of gifts that are given to Christians […]

Charismatic Renewal, or Neo-Pentecostalism

These terms describe the impact of Pentecostalism in the mainline churches such as the Episcopal Church. Pentecostalism refers to churches and movements that claim to re-experience the spiritual gifts associated […]


Gifts bestowed on believers and their communities by the Holy Spirit, from the Greek charisma, related to charis, “grace.” They are subordinate to love (1 Cor 12:4-31) and the edification […]

Charleston, College of, Charleston, South Carolina

This school was established by a group of Charleston citizens, including the Rev. Robert Smith, later the first Bishop of South Carolina. A charter was granted on Mar. 19, 1785, […]

Chase, Carlton

(Feb. 20, 1794-Jan. 18, 1870). First Bishop of New Hampshire. He was born in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, and graduated from Dartmouth in 1817. Chase was ordained deacon on Dec. 9, […]

Chase, Philander

(Dec. 14, 1775-Sept. 20, 1852). Presiding Bishop, missionary, and founder of educational institutions. He was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1796. Chase was ordained […]

Chase, Salmon Portland

(Jan. 13, 1808-May 7, 1873). Episcopal lay anti-slavery leader and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, and raised by his uncle, […]

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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.