An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


(or Etheria or Aetheria), Pilgrim. Egeria's personal account of her journey to holy places in the Sinai, Palestine, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor around the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century. She was likely an abbess or nun from northern Spain or southern Gaul. An incomplete copy of Egeria's chronicle […]

Eighth Day

Sunday, the Lord's Day. Sunday is both the First Day and the Eighth Day of the liturgical week. The Christian week has been ordered around the Sunday Eucharist since the days of the early church. Sunday is the day of Christ's resurrection and the day of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The number eight […]

El Camino Real, Diocese of

The 1979 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of California and create a new diocese called El Camino Real. The primary convention of the Diocese of El Camino Real was held at St. Paul's Church, Salinas, on June 20-21, 1980. It includes the following counties: Monterrey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara (except […]

El Himnario

A hymnal for Hispanic congregations prepared by the Hispanic Ministry Office of the Episcopal Church Center. It was published in 1998 as an ecumenical effort of the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Church of Christ. It has more than 500 hymns, songs, choruses, psalms, and service music selections from throughout the […]

El Salvador, Diocese of

The House of Bishops created the Missionary District of El Salvador on Sept. 18, 1967, and assigned jurisdiction to the Missionary Bishop of Guatemala. It became the Diocese of El Salvador on Jan. 1, 1980. On Mar. 28, 1992, the Rt. Rev. Martin de Jesus Barahona was consecrated bishop. He was the first native of […]


See Presbyter, Presbyterate.

Elevation of the Elements

The lifting up of the eucharistic elements for adoration at the concluding doxology of the eucharistic prayer. This gesture identifies the bread and wine with the sacrifice of Christ. The presider lifts the bread and the deacon lifts the cup, replacing them after the people respond “Amen.” The presider lifts both bread and cup if […]

Eliot, Thomas Stearns

(T. S.) (Sept. 26, 1888-Jan. 4, 1965). Poet and literary critic. He was an American, born in St. Louis and educated at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Merton College, Oxford. He became a British citizen. He worked and wrote in London most of his life. After being raised in the Unitarian tradition and going through a […]

Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary

(1207-Nov. 16, 1231). Medieval saint. She was born at Pressburg (Bratislava), Hungary, the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and his queen, Gertrude. In 1221 she married Louis IV, the Landgrave of Thuringia. Elizabeth came under the influence of the Franciscans. After the death of her husband on Sept. 11, 1229, she joined the […]

Elizabethan Settlement

Religious and political arrangements worked out during the reign of Elizabeth I in England. Elizabeth I (1533-1603), daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, became Queen of England in 1558. Religious differences threatened the stability of England at that time. England had been officially Protestant under the rule of Edward VI from 1547 to 1553 […]

Ellerton, John

(Dec. 16, 1826-June 15, 1893). Hymn writer. He was born in London. He was educated at King William's College on the Isle of Man, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. Shortly after his ordination he began writing hymns for the children of St. Nicholas' Church, Brighton, where he was curate. While vicar of Grewe Green, Cheshire, […]

Ellinwood, Leonard Webster

(Feb. 13, 1905-July 8, 1994). Hymnal editor and music historian. He was born in Thomaston, Connecticut, and received his B.A. from Aurora College in 1926. He received his Master of Music degree in 1934 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1936 from the Eastman School of Music. He taught at Michigan State University before […]

Elliott, Stephen

(Aug. 31, 1806-Dec. 21, 1866). Bishop and educator. He was born in Beaufort, South Carolina. In the fall of 1822 he entered the sophomore class at Harvard, and the next year he transferred to Carolina College in Charleston. After studying law for two years, he was admitted to the bar in 1827. In 1830 he […]


A Hebrew word in the plural which occasionally means pagan gods, superhuman creatures, or earthly judges in the OT; but the term usually refers to Israel's one God, Yahweh. Although the word is plural, it typically appears with singular verbs when the term refers to God. The use of the plural form may be explained […]

Elohist, The

One of four sources for the composition of the Pentateuch, according to a theory accepted by many biblical scholars. Known as Documentary Theology, the theory assigns the name Elohist to the source that consistently uses the Hebrew word Elohim for God until the call of Moses in Ex 3, when the proper name Yahweh is […]

Ely, Richard Theodore

(Apr. 13, 1854-Oct. 4, 1943). Social Gospel advocate. He was born in Ripley, New York. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1876 and a Ph.D. from Heidelberg University in Germany in 1879. He taught economics at Johns Hopkins University (1881-1892) and at the University of Wisconsin (1892-1925). He also directed research institutes at […]

Emancipation, African American, and the Episcopal Church

Beginning with the founding of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts in 1701, Anglican slave holders sought to incorporate African Americans within the traditions of Anglicanism. In the nineteenth century, evangelicals developed an active, paternalistic ministry among slaves. White Episcopalians encouraged household servants to sit in special sections in their […]

Ember Day Letter

Every postulant or candidate for holy orders in the Episcopal Church is required by canon to report to the bishop four times a year, during the Ember Weeks. The report must be made in person or by letter, and must include reflection on the person's academic experience as well as personal and spiritual development. See […]

Ember Days

Three days which occur four times a year: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after St. Lucy's Day (Dec. 13), Ash Wednesday, the Day of Pentecost, and Holy Cross Day (Sept. 14). The name comes from the Latin title Quattuor tempora, meaning “four times.” In ancient Italy the times (originally three) were associated with sowing, harvest, […]

Ember Weeks

The four weeks in each year during which the Ember Days occur. See Ember Days.

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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.