An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Hosmer, Rachel Elizabeth

(May 15, 1908-Dec. 23, 1988). Educator and founder of the Order of St. Helena. She was born in Everett, Massachusetts. Hosmer attended Smith College, 1926-1927, and the Boston Museum School […]

Host (Eucharistic)

The consecrated bread of the eucharist. The term is from the Latin hostia, “victim.” Use of the term reflects an understanding of the eucharist in sacrificial terms relative to Christ's […]

Hound of Heaven

” This image for God who loves us persistently is from the poem “The Hound of Heaven” by the English poet Francis Thompson (1859-1907). The poem recalls how one fled […]

House Blessing

See Celebration for a Home.

House of Bishops

This second house, along with the House of Deputies, of the General Convention is composed of all bishops, active and retired, of the church. It meets concurrently with the House […]

Hugh of Lincoln

(c. 1140-Nov. 16, 1200). Friend of the oppressed, especially lepers and Jews. He was born at Avalon in Burgundy. With his father, he entered a priory of Austin Canons at […]


Hugh's. An independent Episcopal School for Children founded in 1950 in New York City by the Community of the Holy Spirit. It is named in honor of two educators. St. […]

Hughson, Shirley Carter

(Feb. 15, 1867-Nov. 16, 1949). Superior of the Order of the Holy Cross, educator, spiritual director, and Anglo-catholic theologian. He was born in Camden, South Carolina. Hughson was educated at […]

Human Quest, The

See Churchman, The.

Humble Access, Prayer of

A prayer for worthy reception of communion that begins with the statement, “We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness” […]

Humeral Veil

This large scarf or shawl is worn over the shoulders and covers the hands. It may be used when carrying the vessels containing the consecrated elements of the eucharist, as […]

Hunt, Robert

(c. 1568-1608). First chaplain to Jamestown, Virginia. He was appointed vicar of Reculver in Kent, England on Jan. 18, 1594. On Oct. 5, 1602, he became vicar of Heathfield in […]

Huntington, Frederic Dan

(May 28, 1819-July 11, 1904). Bishop and editor. He was born in Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. Huntington graduated from Amherst College in 1839 and from the Divinity School of Harvard […]

Huntington, James Otis Sargent

(July 23, 1854-June 29, 1935). One of the founders of the Order of the Holy Cross. He was the son of Frederic Dan Huntington, Bishop of Central New York. He […]

Huntington, William Reed

(Sept. 20, 1838-July 26, 1909). Ecumenical leader and liturgical reformer. He was known as the "First Presbyter of the Church." Huntington was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. He received his A.B. […]


A form of congregational song in praise of God, using metrical poetic texts set to tunes which are repeated for each stanza of the text. Hymns authorized for use in […]

Hymnal Companion, The

Historical and background information on the words, music, and sources of the selections in the Hymnal, essays on church music, biographical information on authors and composers, and indexes for the […]

Hymnal Studies

A series of studies published by the Church Hymnal Corporation (now Church Publishing Incorporated), to assist clergy and laity in using The Hymnal 1982. The volumes are: Hymnal Studies One: […]

Hymnal, The

The collection of hymns, tunes, and service music authorized for use in the Episcopal Church by General Convention. It is published by Church Publishing Incorporated, formerly Church Hymnal Corporation, a […]


A term used to refer to bodies or collections of hymns. For example, the hymnody of the Episcopal Church is collected in The Hymnal 1982.

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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.