Things to Know

SYMBOLS

ihs - is a monogram of the name of Jesus, being the first three letters in the Greek spelling of Jesus. The name Jesus means Yahweh saves. Joshua is Hebrew for Jesus.

Chi Rho - is a monogram of the word Christ, being the first two letters of the Greek spelling of Christ. Christ means the anointed one, and the Hebrew word is Messiah.

Alpha and Omega - Symbolizes the beginning and the end. They are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord." (Rev. 1:8).

Circle - suggests eternal, no beginning, no end.

Equilateral Triangle - 3 sides, 1 figure. Represents the Trinity. Each angle and side equal, suggesting unity.

Fish - The Greek word for fish, ichthus, is a rebus. The Greek letters spell Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.

INRI - Latin for Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.

Lamb of God - Lambs are offered in the Jewish sacrificial system. Jesus is portrayed as the Lamb of God (John 1:29).

Evangelists:

Matthew - The emblem of the "Divine Man" was assigned to
St. Matthew because his gospel teaches us about the human nature of Christ.

Mark - The symbol for Mark is a winged lion, which informs us of the royal dignity of Christ.

Luke - The winged ox is the symbol for Luke, as Luke's gospel deals with the sacrificial aspects of Christ's life.

John - The rising eagle is said to have been assigned to St. John because his gaze pierced further into the mysteries of Heaven than that of any man.

LITURGICAL COLOURS

Violet or Purple - Signifies repentance and preparation, reminding us of our perpetual need for conversion and renewal before God and our neighbour. Used during the seasons of Advent and Lent.

Blue - Is worn for festivals of Mary. It is sometimes used for Advent to differentiate the different character between Advent and Lent. Advent is a season of preparation, but not necessarily penitence, it is a time of waiting of the return of Christ as King and Judge of the world.

White - Signifies purity, perfection and joy, rekindling in us the spirit of celebration of our redemption in Christ. Used at Easter, Christmas, and on occasions when there is a joyful celebration. Recently this colour has been used for funerals, signifying our confidence of Resurrection in Christ.

Green - Signifies hope, regeneration, nurture and growth, indicating the continuum of Christian mission and ministry in the ordinary daily life of the Church. Used during the seasons of Epiphany and After Pentecost (Trinity).

Red - Signifies the power of the Spirit, the Passion of Christ, and martyrdom. The colour of blood and of fire indicates the consuming nature of God's love in Christ. Used at Pentecost, Passiontide, Confirmation, Ordination, and for the feasts of the martyrs.

VESTMENTS

Alb - is Latin for "white", a colour symbolizing purity. It is an ankle-length vestment with sleeves, and traditionally was worn over the cassock. It was derived from the undergarment worn during the time of the late Roman Empire.

Amice - is a square or oblong white linen collar. It is the first vestment worn over the cassock before putting on the alb. The amice symbolizes the helmet of salvation and was originally used as a head covering. The amice is secured by wrapping the linen bands around the body and tying them in the front.

Cassock - is the basic, black or red vestment worn by clergy, assisting clergy, acolytes, choristers and organist. It has narrow sleeves and is form fitting from the neck to the waist. It was derived from a medieval overcoat. Cassock, surplice, prayer scarf and academic hood are worn for the offices.

Cassock-alb - is a white or off-white vestment worn by clergy, servers, and Eucharistic Assistants. It is form fitted and made of heavier material than the alb, and is worn without a cassock. This vestment is becoming the modern ecumenical vestment. It is normally worn by clergy for sacraments (Eucharist, Baptism, and Confirmation), and it is becoming acceptable to wear it for offices. For an office, the cassock-alb is worn without a stole.

Chasuble - is an Eucharistic vestment worn by a priest or a Bishop. The celebrant normally wears it over the alb and stole. It is sleeveless and oval, with an opening for the head at the center. It is derived from the outer garment worn during the late Roman Empire.

Cincture - is Latin for "girdle". It can be either a rope with tassels or a four-inch wide band of material with a fringe. It is worn around the waist over the cassock (black) or the alb (white).

Cope - is an elaboration of a cape worn for keeping warm. It is made of silk or velvet and embroidery.

Cotta - is Latin for "coat". It is a white vestment with large sleeves, yoke, and fullness extending to the fingertips for length. It is shorter than the clergy surplice and is worn over a cassock by acolyte, chorister, server, and organist.

Dalmatic - is an Eucharistic vestment worn by a deacon. It was derived from a tunica, an outer garment worn in the 3rd century.

Maniple - is a band of material of various liturgical colours appropriate for a particular season, and is fastened to the left arm of the celebrant. It is derived from the mappula, a sort of large handkerchief that in the 3rd century formed part of the ceremonial dress of consuls and other magistrates.

Mitre - A mitre is the liturgical headdress worn by a bishop.

Prayer Scarf - Black scarf worn with cassock and surplice for the offices by a priest or deacon. A lay reader wears a blue prayer scarf.

Stole - is like a scarf, but coloured with the liturgical colour appropriate for the particular season. A priest wears it with the ends draped in front. When it is worn with a chasuble, the ends are crossed and held in place with the cincture. A deacon wears it over the right shoulder and the ends fastened on the left side.

Surplice - is a knee length, white vestment worn over the cassock. The surplice was derived from a alb. This vestment was at the center of controversy during the 17th century on whether or not to wear it since for some, it symbolized popery. Later it became a symbol of churchmanship, knee-length symbolized Low Church and waist-length symbolized high church.

CHURCH ARCHITECTURE

Altar - Focal point of the Christian Church where worship is conducted; where the bread and the wine are consecrated. It is also called the Lord's Table.

Baptismal Font - Font is Latin for fountain.

Bishop's Chair - It is placed in the Gospel Side of the sanctuary.

Cathedral - Cathedra is Latin for throne. The Cathedral is the church where the Bishop's throne is located. See Dean of the Diocese under Church Government.

Chancel - The chancel is the part of the church containing the sanctuary and the choir.

Credence Table - Table is in the sanctuary where the sacramental vessels are kept during the service.

Epistle Side - the right side of the church building as the congregation faces the altar (called the liturgical south side).

Gospel Side - The left side of the church building as the congregation faces the altar (called the liturgical north side).

Lectern - Latin for "to read". A desk or stand for the Bible from which the lessons are read. Ambo is another name for a lectern.

Narthex - The vestibule usually across the entire west end of the church containing the main entrance.

Nave – is Latin for "ship". It is the area that extends from narthex to chancel. This area contains pews for the worshipers.

Pulpit - Latin for "raised platform". Place from which the sermon is preached. It is placed on the Gospel side of the church.

Sacristy – Is the room where sacramental vessels are cleaned and stored.

Sanctuary - The sanctuary is the elevated place where the altar stands in the chancel. In medieval times, if you were being pursued by the police (or equivalent), and went behind the altar, you could not be arrested. The sanctuary rail was originally installed to keep out farm animals.

Sanctuary Lamp - This lamp, usually red, is suspended from ceiling in sanctuary, which burns continually. It symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit. Some churches have seven lamps, symbolizing the seven gifts of the Spirit (Rev. 3:1). Traditionally the seven gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, true godliness, and Holy fear.

Transept - In a cross-shaped (cruciform) church, the transept the part that corresponds to the arms of the cross.

Vestry - It is the room where the clergy vest, or put on their vestments. Formerly the parishioners met in the vestry to transact the business of the parish, and the word came to be used both of the body of parishioners and of the actual meeting. See Vestry Meeting under Church Government.

EUCHARISTIC VESSELS AND CHURCH HANGINGS

Antependia – is the hanging in front of the lectern and pulpit.

Bread Box – is a box for breads.

Burse - It is two pieces of cardboard covered with the same material as the veil, and it contains extra purificators and a white veil.

Chalice - Cup used in administering wine in Holy Communion.

Ciborium - Cup-like vessel in which the wafers are brought to the altar for Holy Communion. It is used at a Eucharist that have a large number of communicants.

Corporal - The corporal is a square cloth of linen, which is placed upon the fair linen. Sacramental vessels are placed upon it for Holy Communion. ihs is usually embroidered on the corporal.

Cruet - Glass pitchers that contain water or wine.

Fair Linen - It is a linen cloth on the altar, and has five crosses embroidered in it, representing the five wounds of Christ.

Flagon – is the silver pitcher that contains wine. It is used at A Eucharist that has a large number of communicants.

Frontal – is a covering for entire front of altar. A shorter frontal is a superfrontal.

Lavabo Bowl - From Latin, to wash. Bowl used to wash the celebrant's fingers after the offertory is presented. In earlier liturgies Psalm 26:6-end was recited as the celebrant's fingers were washed.

Missal - The service book used on the altar. The stand for the Missal is a Missal Stand.

Pall - It is a square of white linen usually stiffened with cardboard, which is placed over the chalice. A funeral pall is a large white cloth or embroidered, which covers the closed casket while it is in the church.

Paten - Latin for "dish". A shallow plate or dish for the bread of Holy Communion.

Purificator - The linen cloth of napkin size used to cleanse the rim of the chalice during administration of Holy Communion.

Veil - The veil covers the chalice and paten before and after Holy Communion. It is made of coloured material and embroidered. The colour is the colour of the day. A white linen veil placed over a bread box or flagon indicates the presence of consecrated bread or wine (reserved sacrament). The white linen veil can be distinguished from a corporal by the white cross that is embroidered in the center; a corporal has ihs or a cross at the bottom.

CONDUCT OF LITURGY AND CEREMONIAL

Acolytes - Candle-bearers. See Processional Cross.

Bishop - The Bishop is the chief pastor of the diocese. His prerogative is to read the Gospel, preach, bless, and celebrate at Baptism and Eucharist. These tasks are delegated to priests, who are licensed to a Bishop. A priest cannot function without a license or a letter of permission from a Bishop. The Bishop also confirms and ordains people, and blesses Holy Oil. See Bishop under Church Government

Bishop's Crozier - The pastoral staff, derived from a shepherd's crook.

Bowing - Bow at the name of Jesus, or to acknowledge the altar, which symbolizes the presence of Jesus.

Crossing Yourself - Signifies receiving a blessing. Normally done at the words, "the resurrection of the dead" in the creed; "pardon" in the absolution; "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" in the blessing.

Deacon - The deacon's role is to read the Gospel, lead the Prayer's of the People, prepare the bread and wine at the offertory, and give the dismissal. Historically, it has origins in the New Testament. Stephen was consecrated deacon in Acts 6:1-6. In Greek, diakonos means servant. The liturgical role evolved from the deacon going out among the people and doing the pastoral work. In current practice, ordination to the diaconate is a stepping stone to the priesthood, and discussions are underway to revive it as a distinct order.

Eucharistic Assistant - is a lay person, who is recommended by the parish and licensed by the Bishop, to assist in the administration of Communion during public worship. A separate license is required to take communion to the sick.

Genuflecting - Genuflecting is kneeling on the right knee, in the presence of reserved sacrament, as a sign of adoration.

Gospel Procession - It is a procession bringing the gospel from the altar to the middle of the nave, and it symbolizes the gospel being brought to people.

Holy Oil - Olive oil blessed by the Bishop on Maundy Thursday. It is used for anointing of the sick (Unction) and anointing the newly baptized to receive the Holy Spirit (Chrism). The oil for Unction and Chrism are in separate containers and Chrism has balsam added to it.

Incense - Incense was commonly used in worship in the Old Testament. Moses was instructed to construct an altar to burn incense (Ex. 30:1-9), and the recipe for the incense was given to him (Ex. 30:34-38). Prayer is compared to incense (Psalm 141:2). Incense is like God, it is there, but you can't see it. It also involves the sense of smell in worship. See Processional Cross.

Moving Missal during Gradual Hymn or Psalm - Symbolizes the Gospel being brought from the south (Europe) to the north (Europe). With modern liturgies, this ceremonial is not normally used.

Paschal Candle - This candle is placed in the Gospel side of the sanctuary, and is lit from Easter to Ascension. For baptisms, it is placed in the nave near the lectern, and for funerals, placed in the nave near the pulpit. It symbolizes the resurrected Christ.

Psalms, Reciting - There are several ways to recite (or sing) the psalms. The person leading the reciting of the psalms should clearly explain to the congregation how the psalm is to be recited.

Responsorial

The congregation either says or sings the refrain and the leader either says or sings the psalm. The refrains are found either in the propers of the day (pp 268-431 BAS) or in the introduction to the propers in the BAS p. 266.

Responsive

The leader recites the odd numbered verses and the congregation recites the even numbered verses. A variation is reciting the psalm by half verses; the leader saying the first half and the congregation recites the second half.

Antiphonal

The epistle side of the congregation recites the odd numbered verses and the Gospel side recites the even numbered verses. The psalm can also be recited antiphonally by half verses.

Priest - In the New Testament, the leaders of the church were elders (Greek, presbyteros). While the word priest is derived from presbyteros, it reflects the meaning of sacerdos. Sacerdos began to be used for elders around the end of the 2nd century as they assumed priestly duties from the Bishop, such as consecrating the bread and wine in the Eucharist, and giving absolution. See Bishop under Conduct of Liturgy

Processional Cross - As a sign of honour in Roman times the custom was to have a standard, candles, and incense precede a magistrate. When Christianity became the state religion in the 4th century, Bishops were appointed as magistrates, and the use of a standard (a cross), candles, and incense were gradually adopted into liturgical practice. A crucifer carries the cross.

Reservation - Reservation is the keeping of the consecrated bread and wine after a celebration of the Eucharist for the subsequent administration of communion to those who are sick or shut-in. The reserved sacrament is stored in a cupboard called a umbrae or a tabernacle. The tabernacle is in the altar.

Subdeacon - A subdeacon was a minor order in the early church. In Anglican practice, a server fills this role.

Water in Wine - The water in the wine symbolizes the blood and water pouring out of Christ's side as he hung on the cross, after he was pierced with a spear. (John 19:34)

LITURGY (written)

Apostle's Creed - It was used as a baptismal confession in the early church, and its present form dates from the 4th century A. D.. It was introduced into the daily offices in the Middle Ages.

Collect - A single prayer that collects the petitions of the congregation. The Collect of the Day collects the themes of the day including the scripture readings and the liturgical season. The Collect of the Day became part of the liturgy in the early church.

Nicene Creed - A creed of the Council of Constantinople
(381 A. D.).

The Peace - See BAS p. 177.

Sanctus - "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts." The acclamation is based on Isaiah 6:3 and has been part of the Eucharistic Prayer since the 3rd century A.D..

Words:

Alleluia - Alleluia is a version of Hallelujah, and it means praise Yahweh.

Amen - Amen is a Hebrew word. Also translated as Verily, Verily or Truly, Truly.

Kyrie - Kyrie eleison in Greek means "Lord have mercy", and it is a response in a litany. A litany is a series of biddings or things to pray for, each followed by a response, most commonly, "Lord have mercy". One of the Entrance Rites in the early church was to sing a litany. There were nine biddings. To shorten the service, the biddings were left out, hence the 9 fold, 6 fold, and 3 fold Kyrie.

LORD - When you hear, the LORD, the God of Israel, remember it really means Yahweh, the God of Israel. Because of the reverence for the name of God, the Jews do not pronounce it, and when they see it written, they read Adoni, which means Lord. Out of respect for the Jews, we have continued that tradition and translated Yahweh as LORD. When LORD is capitalized, it means Yahweh.

Canticles:

Benedicite, Omnia Opera - is the song of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were in the fiery furnace. It is found in an apocryphal addition to the book of Daniel. This canticle has been traditionally used as the first canticle in Morning Prayer during Advent, Lent, and on Ember Days. In the BAS, this canticle is named A Song of Creation, and it is divided into three parts.

Benedictus - Song of Zechariah. Luke 1:68-79. Zechariah sung this after the birth of his song John the Baptist. The Benedictus is traditionally the second canticle in Morning Prayer.

Gloria - A hymn composed in Latin in the 4th century A.D., which is used in the Eucharist.

Jubilate Deo - Psalm 100, "O be joyful in the Lord". In the BCP, it can be the second canticle in Morning Prayer. In the BAS, it is an alternate invitatory.

Nunc Dimittus - Song of Simeon. Luke 2:29-32. Simeon sung this after seeing the baby Jesus, who was brought to the temple to be named and circumcised. It is used in evensong and compline, and in a funeral as the casket is recessed from a church.

Magnificat - Song of Mary. Luke 1:46b-55. Mary sung this when she visited her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. When Mary came, the babe in Elizabeth's womb leaped for joy, and Elizabeth said, "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." Mary sung this in response. The canticle is used in evensong.

Te Deum - A Latin hymn. It is traditionally the first canticle in Morning Prayer.

Trisagon - A chant, earliest occurrence Council of Chalcedon
(451 A. D.).

Venite - The traditional invitatory in Morning Prayer, Psalm 95.

LITURGIES

Daily Offices - The reading of scripture and praying have been the foundations of Christian personal and corporate devotional life. To assist people, various forms were developed, and they were called offices or duties. The Rule of St. Benedict prescribed 9 offices, each office to be said at a particular time during the day. The daily offices in the BCP are modifications of these offices. In the BAS the daily offices are not as rigid, and they have a number of options. They provide a framework for the person or community saying it, allowing them to construct their own time of prayer. The offices are intended to be used by lay people.

Morning Prayer - Morning Prayer in the BCP is a compilation by Archbishop Cramner, and is based on Matins with supplements from Prime. Matins and Prime are 2 of the 9 daily offices or times of prayer from the rule of St. Benedict. Matins was originally said at 2 am, and Prime at 6 am.

Evensong - Evensong or Evening Prayer is based on the offices, Vespers and Compline. Vespers was said in the early evening or late afternoon, and Compline was said just before retiring at night.

Eucharist - Eucharist means thanksgiving. As a service of worship, we are offering our thanksgiving for the work of salvation accomplished by God in Jesus Christ and through the Jewish people. It is also called the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion and the Mass. The Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples is the basis for the Eucharist. It was combined with the scripture reading, sermon and prayers from the Jewish Synagogue service.

Shape of the Liturgy - It is the structure of the liturgy that includes the entrance rite, the liturgy of the word, the liturgy of the sacrament, and the exit rite. It recognizes the evolution of the Eucharist from the combination of the Jewish synagogue service and the Lord's Supper. The BAS recognizes the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Sacrament as the more important parts of the service. The Entrance Rite and the Exit Rite have elements that can be added to the basic Rites to colour the liturgy to the particular season or reason for the Eucharist; Easter and weddings would be more festive, while Lent would be more penitential.

Entrance Rite - It gets people into church and gathers them as a community in preparation for worship. In the BCP it includes the Lord's Prayer, the Collect for Purity, the Summary of the Law, the Kyrie, the Greeting, and concludes with the Collect of the Day. In the BAS it includes the Grace, the Collect for Purity, a hymn, and concludes with the Collect of the Day.

Liturgy of the Word - God speaks to the congregation through the reading and interpretation of scripture, and the people's response to God is through the saying of the creed and the prayers. The Liturgy of the Word includes one or two lessons (OT & epistle), Gospel, with psalms or hymns between readings, sermon, and creed. In the BAS the prayers of the people, confession and absolution, and the peace are included with the Liturgy of the Word, whereas in the BCP they are considered part of the offertory, and therefore part of the Liturgy of the Sacrament.

Liturgy of the Sacrament - Is people giving thanks to God for God’s work in salvation, giving God a thank offering, and receiving the body and blood of Christ. In the BCP and the BAS, it includes, the Offertory (see Liturgy of the Word), the Great Thanksgiving, which includes the Sursum corda (lift up your hearts), Preface, Sanctus, Eucharistic Prayer, the Lord's Prayer (in BCP the Lord's Prayer is in the Exit Rite), Fraction (breaking of bread), and Communion.

Exit Rite - It prepares people to go back into the world, and dismisses them from the service. In the BCP it includes the Lord's Prayer, the Prayer after Communion, and the Blessing. In the BAS, it includes the Prayer after Communion, and the Dismissal. The Blessing is optional.

CHURCH GOVERNMENT

Archbishop - is the form of address for the Primate or a Metropolitan Bishop. In Medieval times he was a Duke, which is why he is addressed as Your Grace. In written correspondence, the salutation is The Most Reverend ...

Archdeacon - The Bishop appoints the Archdeacon to be his or her representative in an Archdeaconry. The Archdeacon is a member of Executive Committee. The Archdeacon normally installs the Incumbent in his or her parish, and performs administrative tasks on behalf of the Bishop. Prior to 1662 in the Church of England, Archdeacons were in deacons orders, and they were chief of the deacons who assisted the Bishop in his work. In written correspondence, the salutation is The Venerable ...

Archdeaconry - is a geographical area within a Diocese set-up for administrative purposes. In Algoma, an Archdeaconry and a Deanery cover the same area, and the term Archdeaconry is not used. In other dioceses, an archdeaconry encompasses two deaneries, which was the case earlier in Algoma's history.

Bishop - is the chief pastor and administrator of a diocese. In Medieval times he was a Lord, which is the origin of the title "My Lord Bishop". Currently the Bishop of Quebec still holds a seat in the British House of Lords. In written correspondence, the salutation is The Right Reverend... The Bishop is elected by the Diocesan Synod under the Canons of Provincial Synod and Diocesan Synod. Three Bishops are required to consecrate a priest as a Bishop. See Bishop under Conduct of Liturgy and Ceremonial.

Canons (1) - Canons were originally members of a religious community called a chapter, and which lived in a house in a village or town, as opposed to a monastery. The Dean of a Diocese originally supervised the Cathedral Chapter. The Canons lived in residence at the Cathedral, and they elected the Bishop (actually the king gave them the name of the person they were to elect). The practice of making people Honourary Canons of the Cathedral developed in recognition for their service. In written correspondence, the salutation is The Reverend Canon ...

Canons (2) - Canons are the by-laws of the church. Diocesan, Provincial and General Synods each pass their own Canons. The authority for the Canons is based on the Constitution of the respective Synod.

Chancellor - The chancellor is a lawyer and a lay person, who the Bishop appoints as legal counsel for the diocese.

Church Warden - At the Annual Vestry Meeting, two wardens are selected. The Incumbent appoints one, and the majority of the people present elect the other. Both wardens are responsible for the property of the parish and the management of the parish's finances.

Dean of a Diocese - The Dean is usually Rector of the Cathedral. He or she is the Bishop's Commissary, and in the Bishop's absence, has the authority to make decisions. The title, "Dean", is derived from the Latin decem or ten, as it was originally the title of a monk supervising ten novices. Dean therefore was the title of a minor official. There now is a Dean of a Diocese (cathedral), a Regional (Rural) Dean, and a Dean of a College or University. In written correspondence, the salutation for a Dean of a Diocese is The Very Reverend...

Deanery - A deanery is a geographical area within a Diocese set-up for administrative purposes. In the Diocese of Algoma the deaneries are: Thunder Bay, Algoma, Sudbury, Temiskaming, and Muskoka. See Archdeaconry.

Deanery Council - The council is comprised of clergy holding the Bishop’s license, Lay Delegates to Synod, and church wardens from the parishes within the Deanery and the ACW Deanery President and others that are authorized by the Deanery Council. Deanery Council also goes by the name, Great Chapter.

Diocese - A diocese is a geographical area, encompassing an aggregation of parishes and mission congregations under the administrative and pastoral care of a bishop. In Anglican tradition a "local church" in its fullness is thus not a single congregation, but the common life of all who share the leadership of the same bishop.

Diocesan Synod - Diocesan Synod is the government of a diocese. Three houses govern it: episcopal, clergy, and laity. The Bishop has the right of veto. Decisions must be passed by a majority in the other two houses. See Lay Delegate, Executive Committee, and Bishop.

Executive Committee - It administers the diocese between synods. In Algoma, it consists of the Bishop, the Dean, Archdeacons (6), Regional Deans (5), Lay Stewards (10), Registrar, Chancellor, Treasurer, and Bishop's Appointees (2).

General Synod - General Synod is the government for a national church. In Canada it sets the forms for liturgy, and the Canons for marriage, and personnel management. It looks after archives, the Anglican Book Centre, inter-church and inter-faith relations, world mission and the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, Social Action, Resources for Ministry, and Stewardship and Financial Development. Its head is the Primate, who is an Archbishop. At each Diocesan Synod, clergy and Lay Delegates are elected as delegates to General Synod. For decisions to be carried, a majority in all three houses must pass them.

Incumbent - is the person, lay, deacon, or priest, who the Bishop licenses to be in charge of a parish.

Lay Delegate - The Lay Delegate is a member of the Diocesan Synod and their Deanery Council. He or she must be a communicant of at least one year's standing, 18 years of age or older, not hold the Bishop's license as a deacon or priest, and be elected at the Annual Vestry Meeting. Each parish may elect one delegate for each 100 families on its parish list.

Lay Steward - The Lay Steward is a member of the Diocesan Executive Committee. He or she is a Lay Delegate to Synod, and is elected at the Deanery Council meeting prior to Synod for a four year term. Two are elected for each deanery, and their terms are staggered so that one Lay Steward is elected every two years.

Metropolitan Bishop - He or she is the titular head of Provincial Synod, as well as functioning as a Bishop of a Diocese. He or she is an Archbishop.

Parish - A parish is a geographical area under the care of an Incumbent. The word is derived from the Greek paroika, meaning district. In England a parish and a township initially shared the same boundaries. Currently in Canada, a parish church is still responsible for a particular area, but as people are mobile, and they go to a parish church in a different area; a parish is more of a congregation.

Primate - He or she is the chair of General Synod, and does not function as a Bishop of a Diocese, and he is an Archbishop.

Province - The Anglican Communion has many Ecclesiastical Provinces, each one indicating a national church or an internal province in a national church such as the Province of Ontario in Canada. The Provinces are under the leadership of a Metropolitan Bishop or a Presiding Bishop. The provinces in Canada are: Canada (Maritimes and Quebec), Ontario, Rupert's Land (Northwestern Ontario to Alberta), and British Columbia. Algoma is in the Province of Ontario, which also includes the Dioceses of Ottawa, Ontario, Toronto, Niagara, Huron and Moosonee.

Provincial Synod - Provincial Synod is the government of an Ecclesiastical Province. At each Diocesan Synod, clergy and Lay Delegates are elected to represent the Diocese at the Provincial Synod. The Bishop is also a member of Provincial Synod. Provincial Synod is responsible for ministry in Provincial Institutions such as prisons and hospitals, and for input into the Public Education.

Registrar - Diocesan Synod elects the Registrar for a two year term. He or she must be qualified as a Lay Delegate to Synod and be a solicitor of at least 5 years standing in Ontario.

Regional Dean - The Regional Dean is a priest, elected by the Deanery Council one month prior to the Diocesan Synod. Normally, he or she must have been a priest in Algoma Diocese for 5 years, or an Anglican priest for 10 years. Their term is for two years. The Regional Dean is a member of Executive Committee. The Archdeacon, Regional Dean, and Lay Stewards are to visit each parish in the deanery each year, and to inquire about the state of buildings and finances. In Algoma Diocese, the title Rural Dean was changed to Regional Dean, better reflecting their function.

Rector - In current Canadian usage it means the priest in charge of a parish. In European and English usage it means holder of a benefice. The Rector received tithes from that benefice and had the responsibility for the pastoral work in that parish. A person could hold more than one benefice, and sometimes lay people were made rectors. In these situations, they received the tithes, and hired a Vicar or Curate to do the pastoral work. The trend is to use the title Priest-in-Charge, as it more accurately reflects the situation in the Canadian church.

Vestry Meeting - This is a meeting of the people who are qualified to vote. In Algoma the qualifications to vote are: aged 16 or older, baptized, regular attender at worship (3 x during the year) and contributed financially in the preceding year to the parish. The Vestry elects the officers of the Parish and approves the budget and major financial decisions.

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