An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


The term literally means “purity” and usually refers to sexual purity. In the development of Christian sexual ethics this has meant virginity for the unmarried, fidelity for the married, and […]


The sleeveless outer vestment worn by the celebrant at the eucharist. The chasuble and cope are both derived from the outdoor cloak worn by all classes and both sexes in […]

Checkley, John

(1680-Feb. 15, 1754). An avid defender of the Church of England in New England. He was born in Boston and educated at Oxford. In 1723 in Boston, he published a […]

Cheney, Charles Edward

(Feb. 12, 1836-Nov. 15, 1916). A founder of the Reformed Episcopal Church. He was born in Canandaigua, New York. Cheney graduated from Hobart College in 1837, and studied at the […]


The plural form of the Hebrew word cherub, which refers to mythological creatures in the Bible. They appear in various passages, such as Gn 3:24, guarding the tree of life; […]

Cheshire, Joseph Blount, Jr.

(Mar. 27, 1850-Dec. 27, 1932). Bishop and church historian. He was born in Tarborough, North Carolina. After graduating from Trinity College, Hartford, he studied law and was admitted to the […]


See Labarum.

Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral

Statement of the four Anglican essentials for a reunited Christian Church. It concerns the scriptures, creeds, sacraments, and the historic episcopate. It was approved by the House of Bishops at […]

Chicago, Diocese of

The primary convention of the Diocese of Illinois met at the “Episcopal Hall of Worship” in Peoria, Mar. 9, 1835. The General Convention of 1877 voted to divide the Diocese […]


This robe without sleeves is worn over an alb or rochet as part of the vestments of a bishop. At first it was simply the outer garment in general use. […]

China, Missionary District of

The General Convention of 1844 elected William Jones Boone the Missionary Bishop of China. He was consecrated on Oct. 26, 1844. The 1874 General Convention changed the name to “Missionary […]


A body of singers who provide musical leadership for congregational singing in the worship of the church. Choirs may also sing anthems or make other special musical offerings to beautify […]

Choir Loft

A gallery set aside for the seating of the choir and placement of an organ and other instruments. It is usually in the west end of the nave.

Choir Office

A service, typically one of the Daily Offices, which is sung or said in the choir space of the chancel.

Choir Stall

Seating for a choir, usually a row of benches with backs, kneelers, and a rack for music.


A musician who provides training and leadership of a choir.

Choral Service

In a choral service, certain texts of the liturgy are sung rather than spoken by the officiant, choir, and people. A choral celebration of the Holy Eucharist is one in […]


Persons who sing in a choir.

Chorley, Edward Clowes

(May 6, 1865-Nov. 2, 1949). Historiographer of the Episcopal Church, founder and editor of the Historical Magazine. He was born in Manchester, England. Chorley graduated from Richmond College in England […]


Consecrated oil used for anointing the newly baptized person with the sign of the cross at baptism. At this consignation, the bishop or priest says to each newly baptized person […]

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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.