An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Anglican Opinion

A quarterly publication of the Episcopal Committee on Religion and Freedom, an affiliate of the Institute on Religion and Freedom. The Rev. David Apker began publishing Anglican Opinion in 1985 as a newsletter to provide a forum for Episcopalians who disagreed with institutional leaders on matters of public policy. In 1987 the Episcopal Committee on […]

Anglican School of Theology and Institute of Contemplative Studies, Dallas

In 1971 the Diocese of Dallas began the Diocesan Ordination Course to prepare candidates for ordination who could not pursue training in a full-time residential seminary. In 1975 it was expanded to a five-year program of graduate study, and its name was changed to the Anglican School of Theology. It served exclusively as a diocesan […]

Anglican Theological Review (ATR)

A general theological journal serving the seminaries and colleges of the Episcopal Church by providing a forum where issues may be discussed with a view to deeper understanding. The ATR was founded in 1918, and publishes articles concerning theology, history of religion, social sciences, philosophy, language studies, and other areas. Its articles and reviews cover […]

Anglican World

1) Published by the Anglican Consultative Council, this bi-monthly periodical provides news for the Anglican Communion. 2) A different periodical named Anglican World began publication in Nov. 1960 by Church Illustrated Limited, under the patronage of the Archbishops of Canterbury, York, and Dublin; the Primus of Scotland; and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. […]

Anglican, The

The first issue of this journal appeared at Easter 1945. It described itself as “A Quarterly News-Letter of the American Branch of the Anglican Society.” The last issue was Winter 1969/1970. In the Spring of 1970 a new series began, and with the Fall and Winter 1993/1994 issue it became affiliated with the General Theological […]


This way of life is the system of doctrine, and approach to polity of Christians in communion with the See of Canterbury. The term derives from the word which, in a variety of forms, refers to the people of the British Isles, and especially the English. Anglicanism reflects the balance and compromise of the via […]

Anglo-Catholic Movement, Anglo-Catholicism

The Anglo-catholic movement was mainly inspired by the nineteenth-century Tractarian emphasis on the identity of Anglicanism with the catholic tradition of the church prior to the Reformation. It has placed considerable emphasis upon the sacramental life of the church, especially the central importance of the Holy Eucharist, and the Apostolic succession of the episcopate. Anglo-catholics […]

Anking, Missionary District of

On Oct. 11, 1910, the House of Bishops voted to divide the Missionary District of Hankow in China and create the Missionary District of Wuhu. The name was changed to the Missionary District of Anking on Oct. 17, 1913. It went out of existence in 1949 when it became a part of the Holy Catholic […]

Anne and Joachim

(1 Sm 1:1-28). Samuel's parents Elkanah and Hannah had no child. Hannah went to the Temple and prayed for help, promising to dedicate her child to God. After Samuel was weaned, Hannah brought her son to the Temple and presented him to God. The name “Anne,” Mary's legendary mother, may be derived from “Hannah.” In […]

Annunciation, The

The feast commemorating the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would be the mother of God's Son, Jesus, and Mary's assent in faith to God's invitation (Lk 1:26-38). The Annunciation is celebrated on Mar. 25 (nine months before Christmas). The Annunciation is a Feast of our Lord in the BCP.


Sacramental use of oil as an outward sign of God's active presence for healing, initiation, or ordination. Anointing with oil by smearing or pouring may accompany prayers for healing (unction) and the laying on of hands in the rite for Ministration to the Sick (BCP, p. 453). The signing with the cross of the newly […]

Anselm, St.

(1033-Apr. 21, 1109). Archbishop of Canterbury and theologian. Anselm is often called the father of Scholasticism and “the second Augustine.” He was born in Aosta, Piedmont, Italy, and took monastic vows at the Abbey of Bec in Normandy in 1060. In 1063 he succeeded Lanfranc as prior of Bec, and in 1078 he became abbot. […]


(801-Feb. 3, 865). Also known as Ansgar, which means “God's Spear,” he is known as the Apostle to the Scandinavians and as the Apostle of the North. Born in Corbie, France, and educated at the monastery there, he went to Denmark as a missionary in 826 and established a school at Schleswig. From 829 to […]


The liturgy of the word (Pro-anaphora) from the eucharist, without the Great Thanksgiving or communion of the people. Ante-Communion includes the first part of the eucharistic rite through the prayers of the people. It may begin with the Penitential Order if a confession of sin is desired. The BCP (pp. 406-407) provides that a hymn […]


See Frontal.


Choral setting of sacred vocal music set to scriptural or liturgical texts, “or texts congruent with them.” (BCP, p. 14). “Anthem” is an Anglicized form of the word “antiphon.”

Anthon, Henry

(Mar. 11, 1795-Jan. 5, 1861). A founder of the Protestant Episcopal Society for the Promotion of Evangelical Knowledge (1847) and one of the leading protesters against the ordination of Arthur Carey, controversial disciple of the Oxford Movement. He was born in New York City and graduated from Columbia College in 1813. He studied for the […]


From the Greek anti, “against,” and nomos, “law,” the term is given to teaching opposed to the binding character of moral law. In Christian theology it denotes the doctrine that grace frees believers from the Law. The word “antinomian” seems to have emerged in the sixteenth century when it was applied to the teaching of […]


A verse sung before and usually after a psalm, canticle, or hymn text. It is often drawn from scripture (especially the psalms) and is appropriate to the liturgical season or occasion. The BCP (p. 141) provides that antiphons may be used with the psalms of the Daily Office. These antiphons may be drawn from the […]


Verse-by-verse alternation between groups of singers or readers for the singing or recitation of the Psalter. This alternation may be between choir and congregation, or between one side of the congregation and the other (BCP, p. 582). The term is from the Greek, meaning “voice against voice.”

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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.