An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

The seat of the Bishop of California. It was organized on Apr. 28, 1850, by the Rev. Jean Leonard ver Mehr (1809-1886), the first priest appointed to San Francisco. It […]

Grace, The

” Prayer based on 2 Cor 13:13, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” […]


A raised shelf or ledge behind the altar. The altar cross, altar lights, and vases of flowers may be placed on it. The tabernacle may also be placed on it. […]


A psalm, hymn, or anthem that is sung or read between the OT reading and the epistle at the eucharist. The term comes from the Latin gradus, “step,” on which […]

Grafton, Charles Chapman

(Apr. 12, 1830-Aug. 30. 1912). Co-founder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist and Anglo-catholic bishop. He was born in Boston. Grafton came under the influence of William Croswell, […]

Grant, Frederick Clifton

(Feb. 2, 1891-July 11, 1974). Scholar and theologian. He was born in Beloit, Wisconsin. Grant was ordained deacon on June 6, 1912, and received his B.D. from the General Theological […]

Gray, Walter Henry

(Aug. 20, 1898-Dec. 4, 1973). Ecumenical leader and eighth Bishop of Connecticut. Gray was born in Richmond, Virginia. He studied at the College of William and Mary and the Law […]

Great Amen

The response of assent by the congregation at the conclusion of the eucharistic prayer. As the eucharistic celebration is shared by the congregation and the presider, the Great Amen emphasizes […]

Great Awakening

A religious revival in the American colonies in the eighteenth century. It occurred episodically from about 1720 until about 1770. It was part of the religious fervor which swept western […]

Great Bible, The

English Bible prepared by Miles Coverdale. The term is based on the size of the Bible. It was printed by Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch. It has been called “Whitchurch's […]

Great Fifty Days

The feast of Easter is a season of fifty days, from Easter Eve through the Day of Pentecost. From early times the Greek word pentecost (fiftieth day) was used also […]

Great Litany, The

An intercessory prayer including various petitions that are said or sung by the leader, with fixed responses by the congregation. It was used as early as the fifth century in […]

Great O Antiphons of Advent

Antiphons sung before and after the Magnificat at vespers on the seven days before Christmas. The texts are of unknown origin and date at least from the ninth century. Each […]

Great Silence

In religious communities, the time between the last common prayer at night (compline or evensong) and the first common prayer in the morning (laud, prime, or morning prayer). Typically a […]

Great Thanksgiving

Title used by the BCP for the eucharistic prayer, the central prayer of the Eucharist. It is also known as the prayer of consecration. It begins with the dialogue called […]

Great Vigil of Easter

See Easter Vigil.

Greek Mission

This was the name of the Episcopal mission to Constantinople. It was also called the Constantinople Mission. After Greece's war of independence from Turkey in 1829, the Episcopal Church sent […]

Green Book

” See Proposed Book of Common Prayer.

Green Season

” See Ordinary Time.

Green, Fred Pratt

(b. Sept. 2, 1903). British Methodist minister and hymn writer. He was born near Liverpool, England, and educated at Huyton High School, Wallasey Grammar School, Rydal School, and Didsbury College, […]

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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.