An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms


A term for the Holy Eucharist. It is primarily used by Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and Lutherans. It appeared as a part of the title of the service in the first […]

Mass of the Pre-Sanctified

See Pre-Sanctified, Mass of the.

Massachusetts, Diocese of

The Diocese of Massachusetts was organized at Boston on Sept. 8, 1784. The 1901 General Convention voted to divide the diocese and established the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. The Diocese […]

Master (or Mistress) of Novices

See Novice Guardian or Novice Master or Novice Mistress.

Master of Ceremonies, or M.C.

The person present in the liturgy to direct the movements of the various ministers and people involved and to coordinate a sustained ceremonial style throughout. A master of ceremonies, when […]


An early morning worship service, the first of the canonical hours. The name comes from the Latin matutinus “pertaining to the morning.” It is one of the canonical hours, which […]

Matter (Sacramental)

The material or gesture constituting the outward and visible sign of a sacrament. A valid sacrament also requires the appropriate form, minister, and intent. In this sacramental context, form refers […]

Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

According to Mark, he was the son of Alphaeus. He was a Jewish tax collector working for the Roman government at Capernaum. Matthew is called Levi in the accounts of […]

Matthew’s Bible

English Bible issued in 1537. It was based on the work of William Tyndale, Miles Coverdale's Old Testament, and the work of Conrad Pellican. It was edited by John Rogers […]

Matthews, Sister Eva Mary

Matthews, Sister Eva Mary (Feb. 9, 1862-July 6, 1928). Founder of the Community of the Transfiguration. She was born in Oakencroft, near Glendale, Ohio, and raised a Presbyterian. Matthews studied […]

Matthias the Apostle, Saint

Nothing is known about the life of Matthias except the one mention of him in the Book of Acts. After the Ascension of Christ and the death of Judas, when […]

Maundy Thursday

The Thursday in Holy Week. It is part of the Triduum, or three holy days before Easter. It comes from the Latin mandatum novum, “new commandment,” from Jn 13:34. The […]

Maurice, Frederick Denison

(Aug. 29, 1805-Apr. 1, 1872). English theologian and proponent of Christian Socialism. He was born in Normanstone, England, the son of a Unitarian clergyman. In 1823 Maurice entered Trinity College, […]

May, James

(Oct. 1, 1805-Dec. 18, 1863). Seminary professor. He was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania. May received his B.A. in 1823 from Jefferson College. He entered Virginia Theological Seminary in 1826, […]

McCarty, John

(June 7, 1789-May 10, 1881). First Episcopal priest in the Washington Territory. He was born in Rhinebeck, New York. He practiced law for three years and then decided to enter […]

McClenachan, William

(c. 1710-1766). Church of England leader in the American Great Awakening. McClenachan (sometimes spelled Mcclenachan or Macclenaghan) was born in Armagh, Ireland. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church. He […]

McConnell, Samuel David

(Aug. 1, 1845-Jan. 11, 1939). Church historian. He was born in West Moreland County, Pennsylvania. McConnell received his B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College in 1869. He was ordained deacon […]

McGarvey, William Ignatius Loyola

(Aug. 14, 1861-Feb. 27, 1924). Episcopal priest and later a Roman Catholic priest. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, McGarvey studied at the General Theological Seminary and then Nashotah House. He was […]

McGuire, George Alexander

(Mar. 26, 1866-Nov. 10, 1924). Founder of the African Orthodox Church, a body for Negro Episcopalians dissatisfied with the Episcopal Church. He was born in Antigua, British West Indies, and […]

McIlvaine, Charles Pettit

(Jan. 18, 1799-Mar. 13, 1873). Bishop and foremost leader of the evangelical party in the Episcopal Church during the mid-nineteenth century. He was born in Burlington, New Jersey. McIlvaine graduated […]

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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.