An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


The Nicene Creed affirms that Jesus Christ was eternally begotten and the only Son of God the Father, and is of one being with the Father, "God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God." All things were made through him; he came down from heaven for us and for our salvation; he […]

Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia

The City of Alexandria was founded in 1749, and a chapel-of-ease, or branch church for the ease of parishioners distant from the main parish church at Falls Church, Virginia, was located there by 1753. In 1765 the growth of local population led the Virginia legislature to divide the parish, which included Alexandria, into two. A […]

Christ Church, Philadelphia

This church was founded on Nov. 15, 1695, with the assistance of Henry Compton, the Bishop of London, who had responsibility for the Church of England in the American colonies. It was the first Anglican church founded in the Pennsylvania colony. In 1758 St. Peter's Church was founded in the city, and in 1761 the […]

Christ School, Arden, North Carolina

This school was founded in 1900 by the Rev. and Mrs. Thomas C. Wetmore on land deeded to them by Mrs. Wetmore's family, the Robertsons. The school was established as a mission to the underprivileged children of western North Carolina. It began under the jurisdiction of the Missionary District of Asheville. It offered an education […]

Christ the King Sunday

Feast celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church on the last Sunday of the liturgical year. It celebrates Christ's messianic kingship and sovereign rule over all creation. The feast is unofficially celebrated in some Episcopal parishes, but it is not mentioned in the Episcopal calendar of the church year. Marion Hatchett notes […]


Christianity, or Christians collectively, or the regions where Christianity is the dominant faith (“the Christian world”). The term has been associated, at times pejoratively, with the concept of a “Christian state” or “Christian society” which can be traced to Constantine. The contemporary United States has been described in terms of a “post-Christendom” era.

Christian Challenge, The

The major publication of the traditionalist movement in Anglicanism. This periodical began publication in Jan. 1962, and was subtitled “A Newsletter for Episcopalians.” The founding editor was Dorothy Allen Faber (1924-1982). She was nicknamed the “Dragon Lady.” At first it was published by the Society of Fishermen, Inc., and then by the Anita Foundation. In […]

Christian Communities

According to the canons of the Episcopal Church, a Christian Community is a society of Christians, in communion with the See of Canterbury, who voluntarily commit themselves for life, or a term of years, in obedience to their rule and constitution. To be officially recognized, a Christian Community must have at least six full members […]

Christian Foundations

The Fellowship of Witness (FOW) published this journal from the time of FOW's beginning in 1965. In 1976 Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and the Rev. Professor Leslie Parke Fairfield assumed publication responsibilities and changed the name to Kerygma. Very few copies of Christian Foundations have been located.

Christian Initiation

The sacramental rites incorporating one into the life of the church. In the ancient church such initiation consisted of water baptism, anointing with oil and the laying on of hands, followed immediately by the reception of the Holy Eucharist. In later times this continuity of rites was broken. In the western church, what came to […]

Christian Journal and Literary Register, The

This journal began publication on Jan. 22, 1817, in New York, “under the inspection of the Right Rev. Bishop Hobart.” At first it was published every two weeks, but eventually became monthly. The last issue was published in Dec. 1830. It was “devoted to theological and miscellaneous subjects, and particularly to interesting religious and literary […]

Christian Nurture Series

A Sunday Church School curriculum for children and high school students designed to encourage growth in the Christian faith and tradition. Published in 1916, it continued in use until it began to be replaced by the Seabury Series in 1949. It had two essential elements: 1) a sequence of themes, one for each year of […]

Christian Socialism

The beginnings of Christian socialism in the Church of England are associated with the work of J. M. Ludlow, Charles Kingsley, and F. D. Maurice. Maurice was its prophet and theologian whose influence continues today. But he was no Marxist, and with most Englishmen he was unsympathetic to revolution. But these leaders did see constructive […]

Christmas, or Christ’s Mass

Christmas (in old English, Cristes maesse) is a festival celebrated on Dec. 25, commemorating the Incarnation of the Word of God in the birth of Jesus Christ. In the BCP it is also called The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the United States it is also a popular secular holiday. According to the […]


The work of Christ concerns the action of God in the Incarnation in "reconciling the world to himself" (2 Cor 5:19). Since the sixteenth century, many Protestant and some Anglican theologians have focused their discussion of Christ's work in the "three offices" of prophet, priest, and king. See Eutychianism; see Nestorianism; see Atonement. From the […]

Christus Rex

The earliest depictions of the crucifixion show Christ upon the cross, with body erect and with arms stretched straight out. He is clothed either in a long robe or with a loin cloth. There is no attempt to be realistic or to emphasize suffering or agony. The modern "Christus Rex" crucifix is in the same […]

Chronicle of the Church

This weekly journal was published in New Haven, Connecticut. The first issue appeared in Jan. 1837. In 1840 the name was changed to Practical Christian and Church Chronicle. It ceased publication in 1845.

Chronicle, The

A monthly journal first published and edited by Alexander Griswold Cummins (1868-1946), at Christ Church, Poughkeepsie, New York. Cummins was a consummate low churchman who refused to have a cross or candles on the altar. The Chronicle was referred to by moderates and Anglo-Catholics as the “Chronic-hell.” It began publication in 1900, and ceased publication […]


Measured quantitative time. See Kairos.


See Chrisom or chrysom or chrysome.

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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.