An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

De Veaux College

Judge Samuel De Veaux (De Voe) (1789-1852) left a bequest of all his residuary estate for the foundation of “a benevolent institution under the supervision of the Convention” of the […]


Deacons are members of one of three distinct orders of ordained ministry (with bishops and presbyters). In the Episcopal Church a deacon exercises “a special ministry of servanthood” directly under […]

Deacon’s Mass

” A communion service led by a deacon. After the liturgy of the word, the deacon administers communion to a congregation from the reserved sacrament. The service became popular in […]


Following the example of German Lutherans in the early nineteenth century, and later of English Anglicans, during 1885-1970 almost five hundred Episcopal women were “set apart” as deaconesses to care […]

Dean (Cathedral, Seminary, College, Deanery)

At a cathedral, the dean is the member of the clergy in charge, although the cathedral is the official headquarters of the bishop. Assisting clergy at a cathedral have the […]


1) Geographical section or area within a diocese. A dean presides at meetings of the lay representatives and clergy of the deanery. 2) House where a dean lives. See Dean […]

Dearmer, Percy

(Feb. 27, 1867-May 29, 1936). Liturgical scholar and hymn composer. He was born in London, England. Dearmer was educated at Westminster and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was one of […]

Decade of Evangelism

The decade of the 1990s was declared the Decade of Evangelism by resolution of the Lambeth Conference of 1988. It called the provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion, in […]


See Ten Commandments, The.


The term is derived from Latin, meaning “place of the dean.” Traditionally, the dean sat on the south side of the cathedral. In antiphonal singing, the term decani indicated those […]

Declaration of Consent

Statement of belief in the scriptures and conformity to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church by an ordinand in the ordination service. The Declaration of Consent is […]

Dedication and Consecration of a Church, The

The BCP provides a form for the Dedication and Consecration of a Church (pp. 567-574). The bishop presides at this service. The church may be consecrated at any time after […]

Dehon, Theodore

(Dec. 8, 1776-Aug. 6, 1817). High church bishop. He was born in Boston. He graduated from Harvard College in 1795 and received his theological education from Samuel Parker, later Bishop […]


See Apotheosis; see Theosis.


A teaching about God which appeared in both Christian and non-Christian forms during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in England and France, under the influence of rationalism and the rise […]

DeKoven Center, The, Racine, Wisconsin

Located on the campus of the former Racine College (1852-1933), it was named for the Rev. James DeKoven, warden of Racine College, 1859-1879. The DeKoven Center is a complex that […]

DeKoven, James

(Sept. 19, 1831-Mar. 19, 1879). DeKoven was born in Middletown, Connecticut. He graduated from Columbia College in 1851 and as valedictorian at the General Theological Seminary in 1854. DeKoven was […]

DeLancey Divinity School

William Heathcote DeLancey (1797-1865), the first Bishop of Western New York, opened a diocesan school of divinity at Geneva, New York, in 1850. The Rev. Dr. William Dexter Wilson (1816-1900) […]

Delaney Sisters. Annie Elizabeth

(Bessie) (1891-1995), and Sarah Louise (Sadie) Delaney (1889-1999), were the daughters of Henry Beard Delaney and Nancy Logan Delaney. Henry Delaney was a Suffragan Bishop of North Carolina and the […]

Delaney, Henry Beard

(Feb. 5, 1858-Apr. 14, 1928). Second African American bishop in the Episcopal Church. He was born a slave in St. Mary's, Georgia. Delaney was raised in Fernandina, Florida. He was […]

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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.