An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Glossary of Terms


Altar Cloth

See Fair Linen. This page is available in: Español

Altar Guild

A volunteer group of the parish whose ministry is to care for the altar, vestments, vessels, and altar linens of the parish. Altar Guild members prepare the sanctuary for services, and clean up afterwards. Altar Guild members frequently supervise the decoration of the sanctuary of the parish with flowers. This page is available in: Español

Altar Lights

“Lights” are candles or lamps used as a sign of festivity and solemnity in Christian worship. Altar lights are typically candles on an altar. See Candles in Worship. See Candles. This page is available in: Español

Altar of Repose

An altar other than the main altar of the parish upon which the consecrated bread and wine from the Maundy Thursday eucharist are reserved for communion on Good Friday. The altar of repose may be in a chapel or a room away from the church. It is usually decorated with candles and flowers. Members of […]

Altar Rails

Chest-high rails around the altar were used as early as the fifth century to prevent the people from interfering with the ministers of the eucharist. The people came to the altar rails to receive the sacrament, which meant that the altar rails served as communion rails. Some places continued the early church practice of administering […]

Altar Stone

See Mensa. This page is available in: Español

Ambo

A lectern, reading desk, or elevated platform from which the scripture lessons are read. The ambo may also serve as the pulpit for preaching. This page is available in: Español

Ambrose

(c. 339-Apr. 4, 397). Bishop and theologian. The son of a Roman governor in Gaul, Ambrose was made governor in Upper Italy in 373. Although he was brought up in a Christian family, he had not been baptized when he became involved in the election of a Bishop of Milan. Ambrose served as mediator between […]

Ambulatory

A sheltered place in which to walk, such as a gallery of a cloister or the outside aisle of a church. It is sometimes called the apse aisle. It may also be a passageway in back of the altar used for a procession. This page is available in: Español

Amen

Congregational response of assent to liturgical prayers. Amen derives from a Hebrew word that means “truly” or “so be it.” This page is available in: Español

American Church Monthly

1) The first American Church Monthly was published in New York from Jan. 1857 until June 1858. It was edited by the Rev. Henry Norman Hudson (1814-1886), a leading Shakespearean scholar. It continued The True Catholic. 2) The second American Church Monthly began publication in Mar. 1917. It was published until Dec. 1937. It was […]

American Church Review

See Church Review and Ecclesiastical Register, The. This page is available in: Español

American Churchman

This weekly periodical began publication at Chicago in 1861, and continued until June 22, 1871. It was absorbed by the Churchman. This page is available in: Español

American Missal, The

The American Missal: The Complete Liturgy of the American Book of Common Prayer with Additional Devotional Material Appropriate to the Same. It was first published in 1931 by Morehouse Publishing Company. A revised edition appeared in 1951 with the copyright: Earle Hewitt Maddux, S.S.J.E. A note on page iv states: “this book can claim no […]

American Quarterly Church Review and Ecclesiastical Register, The

See Church Review and Ecclesiastical Register, The. This page is available in: Español

American Standard Version of the Bible (1901)

On July 7, 1870, the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury, England, voted to invite some “American divines” to join in the work of revising the Bible. An American Revision Committee was organized on Dec. 7, 1871, and began work on Oct. 4, 1872. In 1901 their work was published as The Holy Bible Containing […]

Amice

A rectangular piece of white cloth that may serve as a hood or be rolled down to serve as the collar of an alb. The amice is tied beneath the alb by attached strings. Many modern albs have replaced the amice with a collar or an attached hood. This page is available in: Español

Ampulla

A vessel or container for consecrated oils. Ampullae of clay or glass were found in the tomb walls of ancient Christian catacombs. They held oil or perfume for anointing the dead. Ampullae have also been used to hold oil for lamps at shrines of martyrs. This page is available in: Español

Anamnesis

This memorial prayer of remembrance recalls for the worshiping community past events in their tradition of faith that are formative for their identity and self-understanding. The prayers of anamnesis in the various eucharistic prayers emphasize and make present the saving events of Jesus' death and resurrection. This page is available in: Español

Anaphora

The central prayer of the Eucharist, also known as the Great Thanksgiving, including the consecration, the Anamnesis, and the communion. Anaphora is derived from the Greek, meaning a “lifting up” or “offering.” This page is available in: Español

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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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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