The "As" and "Bs" of Being an Episcoplian
A term which simply means "English." The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion -- a collection of Churches around the world that has their origins in the Church of England.
The first part of the Eucharist service, including The Peace, and ending before the offertory. In the prayer book, the
ante-communion is also known as "The Word of God."
A hymn or choral piece sung only by a choir, without the congregation.
From the Greek words anti, meaning "against," and phone, meaning "sound." An antiphon is literally a song sung back and forth by two choirs, or by one choir divided into two sections. In the Episcopal Church, the Kyrie and the Sursum Corda are two examples of antiphons. The familiar exchange "The Lord be with you" - "And also with you" (Rite I: "And with thy spirit") is also an antiphon.
The doctrine that holds that bishops are the direct successors of the original eleven apostles (excluding Judas) and are thus inheritors in an unbroken line to the ministry to which Jesus Himself ordained the Apostles. In the Episcopal Church, we believe that our bishops had hands laid upon them by bishops who had hands laid upon them by bishops who had hands laid upon
them…all the way back to the original apostles.
Archbishop of Canterbury
The equivalent of a Presiding Bishop for the Church of England.Most Episcopalians (in an honorary sense) acknowledge the Archbishop of Canterbury to be the spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Increasingly, the letters "ABC" are being used as a shorthand code for the title "The Archbishop of Canterbury.” The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Dr. Rowan Williams has recently announced his retirement. In speaking to him directly, you would call an archbishop "Your Grace."
A box or cupboard in the wall of a church building or in a sacristy where the Reserved Sacrament is kept. Ours is located to the left of the altar.
From the Greek word episcopas, meaning overseer. A Bishop is a member of the highest of the orders of ministry in the Church. In the Episcopal Church, there are five kinds of Bishops - Presiding, Diocesan, Assistant, Coadjutor, and Suffragan. No bishop is "higher" in rank than another. The five kinds merely define their function. Bishops are the only order allowed to wear purple shirts, and their crosses are usually gold, while priests’ crosses are usually silver.
A bishop who assists the diocesan bishop in overseeing a diocese. An assistant bishop is chosen by the diocesan bishop (not elected by the people of the diocese), and was already consecrated as a bishop by another diocese prior to serving as an assistant. The Assistant in Virginia is the Rt. Rev. Ted Gulick.
A priest who is elected by a particular diocese and consecrated to become the next bishop of that diocese when the diocesan bishop retires. The co-adjutor serves as an assistant bishop until the retirement of the diocesan, and takes over the diocesan responsibilities at that point. At the present time, Virginia does not have a Bishop Co-adjutor.
The primary bishop of a diocese, elected by the people of the diocese he or she serves. Sometimes referred to as "the diocesan." The diocesan of Virginia is the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston.
The Presiding Bishop oversees the running of the Episcopal Church between Conventions. Our present Presiding Bishop is the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the 26th Presiding Bishop.
A bishop elected by the people in a diocese to serve as the diocesan assistant. The Suffragan does not have the right to succeed as the diocesan, but may be elected as the diocesan bishop in a new election. A Suffragan bishop is to be elected in Virginia in April.
Book of Common Prayer
The worship book of the Anglican Church since its inception in 1549. Commonly called the "prayer book," commonly abbreviated as the BCP, the Book of Common Prayer is a collection of classic and contemporary prayers, devotions, services and psalms designed to allow the entire Church to worship in common union.
1979 Prayer Book
The single largest update of a prayer book in Episcopal Church history. Begun in the late 1960's with numerous and often controversial trial liturgies, compiled in 1976 as the Proposed Book of Common Prayer, and ratified by the 1979 General
Convention. The book attempted to retain traditional Episcopal liturgies while incorporating many innovative forms of worship. The Convention mandated its exclusive usage, thus alienating many traditional parishioners who, in the 2000's, still refer to the book as the "new" prayer book. The book has the distinction of being copyright free, so that its pages may be used by anyone at any time.