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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


(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 […]

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 […]

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, 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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.