An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


A mournful hymn. It can be a hymn that expresses grief, and it may be a lament for the dead. The term comes from the Latin Dirige, the first word […]

Disciple, Discipleship

A follower or pupil of a great master. A disciple is a learner who follows a movement or teacher and helps to spread the master's teaching. The term is used […]

Disciplina Arcani

The term is from Latin for the “discipline of secrecy.” It concerns the secrecy practiced by the early church so that certain teachings and practices were not shared with converts […]

Disciplinary Rubrics

These rubrics are found among “Additional Directions” at the end of the eucharistic services in the 1979 BCP. The rubrics derive from the 1549 Prayer Book and involve the prohibition […]


1) In a general sense, the right ordering of Christian life and community. The Constitution, Canons, Prayer Book rubrics, and rules of the church are meant to govern the proper […]


A deacon, or the presider if no deacon is present, ends the eucharistic liturgy by dismissing the people. The term comes from the Latin Ite, missa est, “Go, it is […]


(1) The exceptional relaxation of a church law or penalty by the canonical authority owing to the needs of a special case or occasion. The dispensation must be for good […]


A Prayer Book containing the monastic Daily Office, except for the night hour of matins. Anglican versions include The Monastic Diurnal (1932, rev. 1963), with relevant material adapted from the […]

Divine Liturgy

A title for the eucharistic liturgy, used primarily by Eastern Orthodox. It is one of six names for the Eucharist given in the Catechism (BCP, p. 859).

Divine Office

See Daily Office.


See Apotheosis; see Theosis.

Dix, Morgan

(Nov. 1, 1827-Apr. 29, 1908). Long-time rector of Trinity Church, New York City, and General Convention leader. He was born in New York City. Dix graduated from Columbia College in […]

Doane College

This school in Crete, Nebraska, had extremely tenuous Episcopal connections. It was founded in 1872. It was not endorsed by the Diocese of Nebraska until 1931, when Bishop Ernest Vincent […]

Doane, George Washington

(May 27, 1799-Apr. 27, 1859). High church bishop. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1818. In 1820 he entered the […]

Doane, William Croswell

(Mar. 2, 1832-May 17, 1913). Leader of the high church party. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Doane graduated from Burlington College in 1850. He studied for the ordained ministry […]


  A heretical teaching about the person of Christ which holds that Christ, the divine Word, only seemed to assume the flesh of Jesus. The term is from the Greek […]

Doctors of the Church

See Patristics.


The term is from the Latin docere, “to teach.” It means teaching or instruction in the most general sense. In a theological context the word carries the implication of belonging […]

Dod, Robert Stockton

(Jan. 13, 1855-Aug. 27, 1924). One of three founders of the Order of the Holy Cross. He studied at General Theological Seminary. Dod was ordained deacon on June 9, 1878, […]

Doddridge, Philip

(June 26, 1702-Oct. 26, 1751). English independent theologian, writer, and poet. He was born in London and educated at Kingston Grammar School at the Rev. John Jenning's Dissenting Academy, Kibworth, […]

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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.