An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Alexander, George Mayer

(May 15, 1914-Jan. 9, 1983). Bishop and seminary dean. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He received his B.A. (1938) and his B.D. (1939) from the University of the South. […]

Alfred the Great

(849-Oct. 26, 899). Saxon king and patron of the church. He was born in Wantage, Berkshire, England. He became King of Wessex in 871, and spent most of his time […]

All Faithful Departed, Commemoration of

This optional observance is an extension of All Saints' Day. While All Saints' is to remember all the saints, popular piety felt the need to distinguish between outstanding saints and […]

All Hallows’ Eve

The evening of Oct. 31, which precedes the church's celebration of All Saints' Day on Nov. 1. The BOS provides a form for a service on All Hallows' Eve. This […]

All Saints’ Day

Commemorates all saints, known and unknown, on Nov. 1. All Saints' Day is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year, and one of the four days recommended […]

All Saints’ Episcopal College, Vicksburg, Mississippi

The college was founded by Bishop Theodore DuBose Bratton and opened on Sept. 16, 1909. It was a junior college and high school for women. In 1943 the dioceses of […]

All Souls’ Day

See All Faithful Departed, Commemoration of.


A liturgical expression of praise, “Praise ye the Lord,” from the Hebrew Hallelujah. The BCP states that Alleluia is omitted during Lent. See Hallelujah.

Alleluia Verse

Alleluias or alleluia psalms that are said or sung immediately before the gospel at the eucharist.

Allen, Alexander Viets Griswold

(May 4, 1841-July 1, 1908). Theologian and broad churchman. He was born in a vicarage in western Massachusetts to a family deeply rooted in the Episcopal Church of New England. […]

Allen, Benjamin

(Sept. 29, 1789-Jan. 13, 1829). Poet and publisher. Born in Hudson, New York, and raised a Presbyterian, he became an Episcopalian and moved to Virginia in 1814 where he worked […]

Allen, Ethan

(1796-Nov. 21, 1879). Church historian. He was born in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, and raised in the Congregational Church. Allen graduated from Middlebury College in 1818. He then went to Prince […]

Allen, Roland

(Dec. 29, 1868-June 9, 1947). English missionary and writer. He was educated at Oxford and ordained deacon on Dec. 18, 1892, and priest on Dec. 21, 1893 in the Church […]

Allen, Sturges

(June 25, 1850-Mar. 26, 1929). Founding member of the Order of the Holy Cross and missionary to Liberia. He was born in Hyde Park, New York. Allen received his B.S. […]

Allin, John Maury

(Apr. 22, 1921-Mar. 6, 1998). Twenty-third Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was the sixth Bishop of Mississippi from May 31, 1966 to June 1, 1974, and Presiding Bishop […]


Offerings of money and other gifts at the eucharist and at other times intended to express Christian charity for the needs of the church and the world. See Offering, Offerings.

Alms Basin

A plate, basket, or other container used to collect and present the alms given by the congregation.


(954-Apr. 19, 1012). Also known as Aelfheah, Elphege, or Godwine. Alphege was an anchorite monk near Bath, England, until Nov. 19, 984, when he was consecrated Bishop of Winchester. In […]


The structure, also known as “the Lord's Table,” “the Holy Table,” and “the Table,” where the offerings are presented and the elements of bread and wine are consecrated in the […]

Altar Book, The

The book containing prayers and music needed by the celebrant for the regular celebration of the eucharist. In addition to prayers and chants for the various eucharistic services, the Altar […]

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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.