An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Gadsden, Christopher Edwards

(Nov. 25, 1785-June 24, 1852). Bishop and early advocate of a general seminary to educate clergy. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina. Gadsden graduated from Yale College in 1804, […]

Gailor, Thomas Frank

(Sept. 17, 1856-Oct. 3, 1935). Educator and Presiding Bishop. He was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Gailor received his B.A. in 1876 from Racine College, where he was the valedictorian, and […]

Gallaudet, Thomas

(June 3, 1822-Aug. 27, 1902). Father of Episcopal missionary work among the hearing impaired. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He received his B.A. in 1842 and his M.A. in […]

Galley, Howard Evans, Jr.

(Apr. 24, 1929-May 20, 1993). Author, editor, musician, and lay leader of the liturgical movement in the Episcopal Church. He was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He received his B.A. from […]

Gambier Observer

The first periodical published by the Episcopal Church in the Midwest. Its founder and sponsor was Bishop Philander Chase, the first Bishop of Ohio. When it was first published on […]

Gantt, Edward

(1746-c. 1837). Gantt and Mason Locke Weems were the first two persons ordained in England after Parliament passed an act which allowed the ordination of deacons and priests without the […]

Garden, Alexander

(1685-Sept. 27, 1756). Third Commissary to North and South Carolina. He was born and educated in Scotland. Garden became a priest in the Church of England. He came to the […]

Gardiner, Robert Hallowell

(Nov. 5, 1882-Sept. 16, 1944). Lay ecumenical leader. He was born in Newton, Massachusetts. Gardiner received his B.A. in 1903, his M.A. in 1904, and his law degree in 1907 […]


The term is from the Old French for “throat” or “gullet” and related to the word for “gargle.” It was originally a projecting waterspout used in gothic architecture to throw […]

Garrett, Alexander Charles

(Nov. 4, 1832-Feb. 19, 1924). Presiding Bishop and missionary. He was born in Ballymot, County Sligo, Ireland. Garrett received his B.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1855. He was ordained […]


A grassy quadrangle or garden surrounded by a cloister walk in a monastery, church, seminary, or college.

Gaudete Sunday

The third Sunday of Advent in the Roman Catholic calendar of the church year. The term is derived from the Latin opening words of the introit antiphon, “Rejoice (Gaudete) in […]

Gavin, Frank Stanton Burns

(Oct. 31, 1890-Mar. 20, 1938). He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Gavin received his A.B. from Cincinnati University in 1912; and his M.A. in 1914 and Ph.D. in 1922 from […]

Gelasian Sacramentary

The earliest source of a number of collects and other forms in the BCP. A sacramentary is a liturgical book which contains those parts of the rites (Daily Offices, Eucharist, […]

General Board of Examining Chaplains (GBEC)

The General Convention of 1970 created this board to standardize the process of canonical examination for ordination. The GBEC includes four bishops, six clergy with pastoral cures or in specialized […]

General Convention

The national legislative body of the Episcopal Church. It consists of a House of Bishops, which includes all active and retired bishops, and a House of Deputies, which includes four […]

General Convention Special Program (GCSP)

At the 1967 General Convention in Seattle, Washington, Presiding Bishop John E. Hines called on the Episcopal Church to “take its place humbly and boldly alongside of, and in support […]

General Ordination Examination (GOE)

The General Convention of 1970 created the General Board of Examining Chaplains (GBEC), with responsibility to prepare at least annually a General Ordination Examination covering 1) The Holy Scriptures; 2) […]

General Thanksgiving

The BCP includes two prayers of General Thanksgiving. The traditional prayer of General Thanksgiving was composed by Edward Reynolds (1599-1676), Bishop of Norwich. It was possibly inspired by a private […]

General Theological Seminary, The

The oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church, founded by the 1817 General Convention. By 1827 it was located at “Chelsea Square,” in New York City, part of the family estate […]

2647 records

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.