Church governance under the leadership of bishops. The term is from the Greek for "overseer." The Prayer Book service for the ordination of a bishop states that a bishop "is called to be one with the apostles in proclaiming Christ's resurrection and interpreting the Gospel, and to testify to Christ's sovereignty as Lord of lords and King of kings." A bishop is called to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the church, to celebrate and provide for the administration of the sacraments, to ordain priests and deacons and join in ordaining bishops, and to be a faithful pastor and wholesome example for the whole church. Bishops share in the leadership of the church throughout the world (BCP, p. 517).
Episcopate, Episcopacy, Episcopos
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.