Saturday, 7 October 2017

All Saints Day Glossary (updated 2017)

 glossary of liturgical and architectural terms

This glossary contains liturgical and architectural terms with which you may not be familiar. They are primarily used on the “Worship” and “Stained Glass Windows” pages.

Holy Eucharist - The primary act of Christian worship or “thanksgiving” in which we celebrate and commemorate the central events of our Christian faith on Sunday and other Major Feasts. In the Eucharist the church obeys the command of Christ at the Last Supper, “Do this in remembrance of me.” This service is also known as Holy Communion or The Mass.
Rubrics - The ceremonial directions of the church as authorized in the Book of Common Prayer. These were once printed in red, (Latin ruber), a fact from which their name is derived. They appear in the current Prayer Book in italics.
Acolytes - Usually teenagers or younger children specially delegated to the service of the altar, assisting the priest and the deacon. In other denominations they are referred to as “altar boys and girls” or “altar servers.”
Rector - The title of the priest who is responsible for the worship and spiritual well being of the parish. This title is virtually synonymous with the title of pastor.
Rite I - Any order of worship designated “Rite I” is in traditional Tudor English. For example, “thou” and “thine” are used instead of “you” and “yours”, and many of the words no longer have the same meaning today. Rite I services also have a more penitential nature. Many older Episcopalians prefer the Rite I services because they are similar to those of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer with which they grew up.
Rite II - Any service designated “Rite II” is in contemporary English. Rite II services also have a more celebrative nature.
Canons - From the Greek word “kanon” which means a straight bar or rod. The canons of the church are the laws or rules by which the Episcopal Church is governed.
Sanctuary - The area immediately surrounding an altar and, in older churches, enclosed within the communion or altar rail.
Nave - The principal portion of a church where the congregation is seated.
Clerestory - The top horizontal division of the Nave of a church having three or five aisles.
Lancet - Tall windows coming to a point at the top giving the appearance of a spear point or lance point.
Miter - The liturgical hat worn by a bishop when exercising Episcopal authority.
Crozier – The pastoral staff carried by a bishop as a sign of office.
Vestryman – A member of the vestry or council of laypersons elected by the congregation to oversee the temporal affairs of the church.
Senior Warden – An officer of the church elected by the congregation and charged with working closely with the rector.

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