An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


1) Great respect, honor, or veneration. It may be associated with awe, devotion, and love. For example, the BCP notes the “Hebrew reverence and reticence with regard to the Name of God” (p. 583). The Preface to the 1789 BCP states that “the procuring of reverence, and the exciting of piety and devotion in the worship of God” are among the reasons for revisions to the forms of Prayer Book worship (BCP, p. 10). 2) Ceremonial gestures to express reverence. In some parishes, it is customary to reverence the altar or the consecrated elements of the eucharist with a genuflection or a solemn bow. A gesture of reverence may be made as one approaches or departs from the altar or at other times. A gesture of reverence may also be made by the celebrant at the conclusion of the eucharistic prayer. These gestures are not required by the BCP.

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.