An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Founding of a Church, The

The BOS provides a form for the Founding of a Church. It includes prayers for the ground breaking, collects, a reading from scripture (Gn 28:10-17, Jacob's dream at Bethel), antiphons […]

Fourth Day

” The day after a three-day Cursillo weekend is completed. The “fourth day” is a symbol for the rest of one's life. The “fourth-day community” is the larger body of […]


The breaking of one bread into many pieces for communion. Christ broke the bread at the Last Supper, and “the breaking of the bread” became a name for the entire […]

Fraction Anthem

The anthem at the fraction, sometimes called the confractorium, a term borrowed from the Ambrosian rite. The BCP prints two anthems but permits others. Rite 1 prints both Pascha nostrum […]

Francis of Assisi

(1181 or 1182-Oct. 3, 1226). Thirteenth-century saint and founder of the Franciscan order. He was born in Assisi in central Italy and named Giovanni Bernardone. His father changed his name […]

Franciscan Spirituality

St. Francis of Assisi (1181 or 1182-1226) initiated a form of life centered on the practice of evangelical poverty as a means and sign of a spiritual poverty that can […]

Free Church

A church that is not an established church or a state church, and in that sense it is “free” from governmental control. The term emphasizes the contrast or distinction relative […]

Free Pew

The renting of pews was the primary way that churches of many denominations collected funds. Pew renting persisted into the nineteenth century. The use of free pews began first in […]

Freeman, George Washington

(June 13, 1789-Apr. 29, 1858). Missionary Bishop. He was born in Sandwich, Massachusetts. After Freeman moved to North Carolina around 1822, he studied for the ordained ministry. He was ordained […]

Frensdorff, Wesley

(July 22, 1926-May 17, 1988). Bishop and advocate of “total ministry.” He was born in Hanover, Germany. He received his B.A. from Columbia University in 1948 and his S.T.B. from […]


The term is from the French, frère, and the Latin, frater, both meaning “brother.” Friars were members of mendicant (begging) orders that were founded in and after the thirteenth century. […]

Front Row/Back Row

A newsletter published by the Committee on Pastoral Development of the House of Bishops. It was originally called The Front Row. It began publication in Nov. 1979. It was started […]


Covering for the front of an altar, often made of silk or brocade cloth and matching the liturgical color of the season of the church year. Altar hangings were once […]


See Frontal.

Full Communion

The mutual recognition of the members and ministry of two or more churches and the common recognition of the validity of the sacraments of the churches. Churches so related remain […]

Fulton, John

(Apr. 2, 1834-Apr. 24, 1907). Editor and church historian. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Fulton studied at Aberdeen, Scotland, and came to the United States in 1853. He was […]


Laws put forward these fundamentals as moderately conservative proposals, in a spirit which today might be called "evangelical" or "neo-evangelical." In the course of time, however, the word has come […]


Ceremony or service for the burial of the dead. The term may be used as an adjective to indicate something that concerns the burial of the dead, such as a […]


A small gable or gable-shaped canopy over a tabernacle.

Gabriel the Archangel

Archangel accorded the highest rank after Michael the Archangel in Jewish theology. The Book of Daniel (chs. 8 and 9) records that Gabriel helped Daniel to understand his visions. Gabriel […]

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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.