An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Daily Morning Prayer

See Morning Prayer.

Daily Office

Use of daily prayers to mark the times of the day and to express the traditions of the praying community is traditional in Judaism and in Christianity. The third, sixth, and ninth hours (9 a.m., 12 noon, and 3 p.m.) were times of private prayer in Judaism. The congregational or cathedral form of office developed […]

Dakota, Missionary District of

On Oct. 21, 1865, the House of Bishops created the Missionary District of Nebraska and Dakota. The House of Bishops divided this District on Oct. 28, 1868, and established the Missionary District of Dakota. The Missionary District of Dakota existed until 1883, when on Oct. 13, the House of Bishops divided it and created the […]

Dalcho, Frederick

(1770-Nov. 24, 1836). Church historian. He was born in London, England, and was baptized on Oct. 15, 1770. Dalcho came to Baltimore, Maryland, studied medicine, and became a surgeon's mate in the United States Army in Apr. 1792. In 1799 he settled in Charleston, South Carolina, where he practiced medicine. In 1807 he became one […]

Dale, Thomas

(d. Aug. 9, 1619). Public official in colonial Virginia. He was born in England. On June 19, 1606, he was knighted Sir Thomas Dale of Surrey. Dale entered the service of the Virginia Company of London, which appointed him marshal of Virginia. When he arrived in Virginia on May 19, 1611, the Governor of Virginia, […]

Dallas, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1874 voted to divide the Diocese of Texas and create the Missionary District of Northern Texas and the Missionary District of Western Texas. At the primary convention on Dec. 19-20, 1895, at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Dallas, the Missionary District of Northern Texas became the Diocese of Dallas. The Diocese of Dallas […]


The distinctive vestment of deacons in the western church. It may be worn at any liturgy in any season. The term is derived from a white tunic worn in second-century Dalmatia. The dalmatic was an ample white tunic with wide sleeves, bands about the cuffs, and clavi, or colored bands, descending from the shoulders to […]

Daniel Baker College

The Presbyterians established Daniel Baker College in 1888 at Brownwood, Texas. In 1930 the school became an independent, self-supporting institution. On June 1, 1950, the Rt. Rev. Charles Avery Mason, Bishop of Dallas, took over the school. Daniel Baker College was also called “The Episcopal College of the Southwest.” When Canterbury College in Danville, Indiana, […]

Daniels, Jonathan Myrick

(Mar. 20, 1939-Aug. 20, 1965). An Episcopal seminarian killed while working in the civil rights movement in Hayneville, near Selma, Alabama. Daniels was born in Keene, New Hampshire. He had a profound conversion experience on Easter Day, 1962, at the Church of the Advent, Boston. He entered the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In […]

Dare, Virginia

(b. Aug. 18, 1587). The first child born of English parents in America. She was the granddaughter of Governor John White of Virginia and the child of his daughter Ellinor and her husband Ananias Dare. She was baptized on Aug. 20, 1587, on Roanoke Island. She was probably the first person baptized in America in […]

Dashiell, George

(1780-Apr. 1852). Priest who sought to found an evangelical Episcopal Church. He was born in Stepney, Maryland. Dashiell was licensed as a lay reader at the age of twenty. He was ordained deacon on June 9, 1805, and subsequently ordained priest (date unavailable). He served churches in Maryland and Delaware. He later became the rector […]


(d. c. 601). A saint and founder of monasteries. Although little is known about David, he remains one of the most popular British saints. He became the Bishop of Menevia in southwest Wales, and was also the abbot of a monastery in Menevia which practiced an extreme form of monasticism in the tradition of Antony […]

Dawley, Powel Mills

(Mar. 1, 1907-July 10, 1985). Church historian. He was born in Newport, Rhode Island. Dawley received his Ph.B. in 1929 and his M.A. in 1931 from Brown University. He received his B.D. in 1936 from the Episcopal Theological School and remained there for two additional years as Phillips Brooks Fellow. Dawley received his Ph.D. from […]

Dawson, Thomas

(d. Dec. 5, 1761). Commissary to Virginia and president of William and Mary College. Dawson came to Virginia at an early age. He was educated at William and Mary College. Dawson served as master of the Indian School at William and Mary College from 1738 until 1755. At this time he also studied for the […]

Dawson, William

(1704-July 24, 1752). Commissary and president of William and Mary College. Dawson was born in Aspatria, Cumberland County, England. He received his B.A. in 1725 and his M.A. in 1728 from Queens' College, Oxford University. He was ordained deacon and priest, and in 1729 came to Virginia to be professor of moral philosophy in William […]

Day Hours

Canonical offices other than matins, including lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers, and compline. These day hours of the church are traditionally included in an office book known as the Diurnal. Matins was the traditional night office. By the fourth century, the monks were joined by the secular clergy and laity for the principal morning […]

Day, Peter Morton

(Aug. 1, 1914-May 5, 1984). Editor and ecumenist. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1935, he was employed in Milwaukee by The Living Church magazine. He soon became managing editor and then acting editor in the frequent absence of the editor, Clifford P. Morehouse. In 1941 Day married the former Lorraine Kirschnick, the copy editor […]

Days of Abstinence

Days when Christians traditionally abstained from eating meat. Roman Catholics prior to Vatican Council II distinguished fast days on which the quantity of food consumed was reduced (e.g., the weekdays of Lent), and days of abstinence on which meat was not eaten (e.g., Fridays). The 1928 BCP in its table of fasts listed “other days […]

Days of Optional Observance

Days in the calendar of the church year for which a liturgical observance is allowed but not required (BCP, pp. 17-18). Sundays, principal feasts, and other holy days always take precedence over any optional days or festivals. Days of optional observance include the various commemorations in the calendar (that is, the “lesser feasts”), other commemorations-not […]

Days of Special Devotion

Term used in the table of precedence in the BCP to describe the weekdays of Lent and Holy Week (except the feast of the Annunciation) and the Fridays of the year, except for Fridays in Christmas and Easter seasons, and any Feasts of our Lord which occur on a Friday. They are observed by “special […]

2647 records

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.