An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


The term is derived from the Greek word for “suspended,” and it concerns the official separation from the church of members guilty of persistent heresy or grave moral offenses. St. Paul pronounces anathemas on those who do not love the Lord (1 Cor 16:22), or who preach a gospel other than his (Gal 1:8). The […]

Anchorite, Anchoress

A person under religious vows who generally does not leave his or her habitation. An anchorite lives enclosed in a room or cell, usually in very confined conditions. This kind of asceticism preceded organized monasticism. Simeon the Stylite, who lived on top of a pillar, was an anchorite. Julian of Norwich, an English mystic and […]

Andalusia College, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

About 1859, the Rev. Horatio Thomas Wells (1816-1871) bought the property in Bucks County where a Dr. William Chapman operated a school for boys with speech defects, known as a “stammering school.” Here Wells opened a boarding school for boys, and in 1865-1866 the state legislature granted a charter naming the school Andalusia College. The […]

Anderson, Charles Palmerton

(Sept. 8, 1865-Jan. 30, 1930). Seventeenth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and advocate for world peace and Christian unity. He was born in Kemptville, Ontario, Canada, and educated at Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 11, 1887, and priest on Dec. 16, 1888. His first church was at […]

Andrew, St.

(The brother of Simon Peter. ) They were both fishermen. It was Andrew who brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus for the feeding of the multitude. The tradition claims that he was crucified on an X-shaped cross. Andrew has been the patron saint of Scotland since the middle of the eighth […]

Andrewes, Lancelot

(1555-Sept. 26, 1626). Bishop and spiritual writer. He was born in Barking, England. He received his B.A. from Pembroke Hall in 1575, and was ordained in 1580. From 1589 until 1605 he was master of Pembroke, and in 1601 he became dean of Westminster. Andrewes was consecrated Bishop of Chichester on Nov. 3, 1605, and […]

Andros, Sir Edmond

(Dec. 6, 1637-Feb. 27, 1714). He was governor of the province of New York, 1674-1681, and governor of the Dominion of New England, 1686-1689, where he was a supporter of the Anglican Church and an opponent of the Puritans. From 1692 to 1698 he was governor of the province of Virginia. He was associated with […]

Andrus, Joseph Raphael

(Apr. 3, 1791-July 28, 1821). The first Episcopal clergyman to serve as an overseas missionary. He was born in Cornwall, Vermont, and studied for the ministry under Bishop Alexander Viets Griswold of the Eastern Diocese. He was ordained deacon on June 19, 1816, and priest on Aug. 22, 1817. Andrus was rector for a time […]


Created spirits that are understood to be sent as messengers of God to human beings. Angels are spiritual beings of a different created order from humanity. They are "spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation" (Heb 1:14). Angels are pure spirits because they do […]


Devotion in honor of the Incarnation, traditionally done three times a day and accompanied by the ringing of a bell. The devotion typically includes repetition of scriptural verses concerning the Incarnation, followed by the prayer “Hail Mary” (Ave), and concluding with the collect of the Annunciation from the BCP (p. 240).

Anglican and Episcopal History

The Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church began publication in 1932. With the Mar. 1987 issue the name was changed to Anglican and Episcopal History. It began to cover all churches of the Anglican Communion. International members were added to the editorial board. With the new name the journal began publishing “church reviews,” short […]

Anglican Catholic, The

The quarterly journal of Affirming Anglican Catholicism in North America. It began publication in Autumn 1994.

Anglican Chant

Chant in four-part harmony for psalms and canticles. Anglican chant reflects development and adaptation of medieval plainsong. Each half verse of the psalm or canticle begins with a reciting note, and concludes with a melodic ending.

Anglican Chant Psalter, The (1987)

The Anglican Chant Psalter was edited by Alec Wyton under the supervision of the Standing Commission on Church Music. It was published by the Church Hymnal Corporation. It followed the Oxford Anglican Psalter (1949), which was largely the work of Ray Francis Brown of the General Theological Seminary. The Oxford Anglican Psalter was used from […]

Anglican Communion, The

Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury throughout the world. Member churches exercise jurisdictional independence but share a common heritage concerning Anglican identity and commitment to scripture, tradition, and reason as sources of authority. Churches in the Anglican Communion continue to reflect the balance of Protestant and Catholic principles that characterized the via media […]

Anglican Cycle of Prayer

A collection of intercessions for provinces, dioceses, and bishops throughout the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Cycle of Prayer is published annually by Forward Movement Publications. It also includes special requests for prayers and maps of most provinces.

Anglican Digest, The

A bi-monthly magazine that seeks to present “an Episcopal miscellany reflecting the ministry of the faithful throughout the Anglican communion.” It is published by SPEAK, the Society for Promoting and Encouraging the Arts and Knowledge (of the Anglican Communion) at Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Anglican Executive Officer

At the 1958 Lambeth Conference, the Committee on Missionary Appeal and Strategy recommended that a full-time secretary of the Advisory Council on Missionary Strategy be appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury with the approval of the Advisory Council. This officer was to collect and disseminate information, and to keep open lines of communication within the […]

Anglican Missal

See Missal Mass.

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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.