An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


In the Episcopal Church, the title generally applies to the priest in charge of a mission congregation. The diocesan bishop is the rector, and the priest representing the bishop is the vicar. The term is derived from the Latin vicarius, “substitute.” Historically, as early as the twelfth century in England, clergy known as vicars were appointed to act as substitutes or vicarious representatives of the bishop to serve congregations. The use of terms such as vicar, priest in charge, and rector is not consistent in the dioceses of the Episcopal Church.

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.