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Names and words with their pronunciations and application to the Orthodox faith


ABBOT (ab'ût) -- The head of a monastery of monks

ABSOLUTION (ab'so lu'shun) -- The declaration of God's forgiveness of sins pronounced by the priest after the confession of sins in the Sacrament of Penance (Confession).

ABSTINENCE (ab'sti nens) -- Self-denial. Refraining from gratification of appetite. Days of abstinence are the Fast Days when the eating of meat is not permitted.

ADVENT (ad'.vent) -- The forty day fast before Christmas beginning November 28, new calendar.

AER (âr) -- A large veil used to cover the chalice and paten during the Divine Liturgy. Usually made of the same material as the priest's vestments.

AFFINITY (a fin' i ti) -- A spiritual relationship becoming an impediment to marriage. Godparents contract a spiritual affinity with the child through Baptism. In Matrimony, blood relatives of the husband to the second degree of kindred, inclusive, contract this relationship of affinity with the wife. The same applies to blood relatives of the wife in relation to the husband. Between such relatives, dispensation is necessary to permit marriage.

AGNETS (ag' nets) -- The sacrificial lamb of the Old Testament. In the New Testament Jesus was symbolically called the Lamb; accordingly, Orthodox churches attribute the name Agnets,.to Christ in the Sacrament of Eucharist and the portion of the holy bread taken from the prosphora for the mystic transubstantiation is called Agnets.

AKATHIST (ak' a thist) -- A service consisting of many hymns of praise to the Savior, the Virgin Mary or some Saint, sung in church or at home. The word is from the Greek word meaning "not to sit."

ALB (alb) -- A full-length vestment reaching to the feet is worn by the priest under the chasuble during celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

ALLELUIA (al' e loo' ya) -- Derived from the Hebrew, meaning "Praise the Lord." It is sung after the reading of the Epistle at the Liturgy and at the end of the Psalms.

ALPHA and OMEGA (al' fa) (o me' ga) -- First and last letters of the Greek alphabet; symbolize the beginning and the end.

ALTAR (al' tar) -- Derived from the Latin, meaning "a place of sacrifice." In the Eastern Church it is the elevated area (Sanctuary) separated from the nave by the Iconostas. The Prestol upon which the sacrifice of the Eucharist is brought is located here.

ALTAR BREAD (al' tar) (bred) -- Round loaves of bread made from pure wheat flour, used in the Divine Liturgy. Also known as Prosphora.

AMEN (a men') or (ah' men) -- From the Hebrew, meaning "so be it"; a response sung or said at the end of prayers, signifying approval of what has preceded.

AMVON (am' von) -- The elevated area, also known as Ambo, directly in front of the Royal Doors, used as the pulpit.

ANALOY (an' a loi) -- A high table, usually having a sloped top which is used as a Gospel stand or an icon stand.

ANAPHORA (ã naf' o ra) -- The portion of the Liturgy of the Faithful beginning with, "Let us stand aright, let us stand with fear. . . ."

ANATHEMA (a nath' e ma) -- Solemn excommunication from the Church. In Orthodox Cathedrals on the first Sunday of the Great lent the anathema upon all heretics and apostates is proclaimed.

ANCHORITE (an' ko rite) also ANCHORET (ang' ko ret) -- A hermit confined to a solitary cell.

ANGEL (an' jel) -- A pure bodiless spirit created by God before man. There are nine degrees of angels. Each Monday of the year is dedicated to the angels.

ANDREW'S CROSS (kr?s) -- an "X" shaped cross named from St. Andrew as he was crucified on such a cross. The lower slanting bar on the Orthodox cross is sometimes interpreted as St. Andrew's as he was the first to preach the Gospel to the Slays.

ANOINTMENT (a noynt' ment) -- Anointing the sick with oil is one of the Sacraments and is accompanied with prayers for the healing of the body and soul.

ANNUNCIATION (a nun' si a' shun) -- Feast celebrated in commemoration of the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce to her that she was to be the Mother of the Son of God.

ANTICHRIST (an' ti Krist) -- The great personal opponent of Christ who is to appear before the end of the world and who will be overthrown by Christ at His second coming.

ANTIDOR (an' ti dor) -- The name given to the pieces of holy bread from the prosphora which are distributed to worshipers after the Divine Liturgy. From the Greek, it means "instead of a reward."

ANTIMINS (an' ti mins) -- Also known as Corporal, an antimins is a silk cloth with a sketch of the entombment of Christ inscribed on it and a part of a relic sewed into it. A combined Greek-Latin word meaning "in place of a table," the antimins is absolutely necessary in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

ANTIPHON (an' ti fon) -- Verses from the Psalms, each followed by anthems, sung on Great Holy Days at the Divine Liturgy after each of the first three litanies.

APOCALYPSE (a pok' a lips) -- Prophetic New Testament book written by the Apostle John. The final book of the Bible, also known as Revelations.

APOCRYPHA (a pok' ri f a) -- Certain Old Testament books not considered Canonical but included in Orthodox and Roman Catholic Bibles.

APOSTLE (a pos'1) -- From the Greek, meaning "one who is sent." The name given by Christ to the Twelve Disciples. The Orthodox Church applies this name also to the Seventy Disciples of Christ who preached the Gospel. Some outstanding Christian workers have also become known as Equal-to-the-Apostles.

ARCHBISHOP (ärch' bish' up) -- Chief of the bishops in a church province.

ARCHDEACON (ärch' de' kn) -- The chief deacon. If married, the title is protodeacon. The Martyr Stephen was the first archdeacon.

ARCHIMANDRITE (är' ki man' drit) -- A monastic rank next below the bishop in the church hierarchy. From the Greek, meaning "the head of a monastery."

ARCHPRIEST (ärch' prest) -- Priest honored with special dignity or assigned special duties.

ARTOS (är' tos) -- Easter bread representing the Bread of Eternal Life. The Artos is kept on the lectern during Easter week and is broken up and given to the worshipers the eighth day after Easter.

ASCENSION DAY (a sen' shun Day) -- Movable feast day observed forty days after Easter to commemorate the Ascension of Christ into Heaven.

ASSUMPTION (a sump' shun) -- Feast day celebrating the falling asleep of the Virgin Mary.

ASTERISK (a s' ter isk) -- The asterisk, also called the star, is a sacred vessel placed over the paten to keep the holy bread and particles disposed around it in a prescribed order. Also serves to support the aer and veil covering the chalice and paten.


BANNER (ban' er) -- Metallic or brocade cloth inscribed with sacred icons, carried at the head of processionals on long poles.

BANNS (banz) -- Proclamation announced in church of .an intended marriage. Banns are repeated three times.

BAPTISM (bap' tizm) -- Sacrament washing away original sin and joins person baptized to the church. Baptism, usually performed by a priest, may be administered by a layman in cases of emergency.

BEATITUDES (be at' i tudz) -- The nine blessings given by Christ in His Sermon on the Mount. They are sung at the time of the Little Entrance in the Divine Liturgy.

BELFRY (bel' fri) -- Part of the church where the church bells are hung, usually a tower above the front of the church.

BELLS (bels) -- Used to summon the faithful to worship. They are rung at certain progressive points in the service, while the Holy Gifts are being consecrated, during processionals and are tolled in mourning for the dead.

BENEDICTION (ben' e dik' shun) -- Blessing given by the priest at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.

BETROTHAL (be troth al) or (be tr?th al) -- First part of the Marriage ceremony in which a formal and binding promise is made and rings are placed on the fingers of the bride and groom.

BIBLE (bi' bl) -- Sacred Books including the Old and New Testaments. Holy Writings of men inspired by God.

BISHOP (bish' up) -- One of the chief orders of Orthodox clergy, endowed with the right of laying on of hands to ordain priests and deacons. A bishop is usually in charge of a diocese.

BOWING (bou' ing) - Attitude of the body in Divine Worship to express reverence.

BYZANTINE (bi zan' tin) - Style of architecture popular with Orthodox churches, developed in Byzantinum, now called Istanbul.


CALENDAR (kal' en dår) -- Orderly arrangement of the days, weeks and months of the year. The Orthodox Church uses the old Julian calendar in reckoning church days.

CALVARY (kal' vå ri) -- Golgotha, the Mount where Christ was crucified.

CANDELABRUM (kan' de la' brum) -- Large, branched candlestick, usually designed for seven candles to symbolize the seven sacraments, the seven great Orthodox holidays connected with Christ, the seven Ecumenical Councils, and the seven days of creation.

CANDLES (kan' dls) -- Used profusely in Orthodox churches to express the warmth of devotion and as symbols of the light of Christ.

CANON (kan' un) -- From the Greek, meaning rule. Applies to a rule given by a priest to a worshiper after confession for spiritual healing and strength and is also applied to the collection of hymns sung at Matins.

CANON LAW (kan' un lô) -- Rules or laws relating to faith, morals and discipline as prescribed by the Ecumenical and Provincial Councils and the Holy Fathers.

CANONIZATION (kan' un' i za' shun) -- Proclamation by church authorities on the sanctity and glory of a faithful departed. Through this public testimony the person canonized is inscribed in the list of Saints.

CANON OF SCRIPTURE (kan' un skrip' tur) -- The list of inspired books accepted on church authority as the Word of God -- the Bible.

CASSOCK (kas' uk) -- A long black garment, the ordinary dress of priests. Although they are usually black, blue, purple and maroon are also common.

CATECHISM (kat'e kizm) -- Elementary Christian doctrine instruction in question and answer form.

CATHEDRA (kå the' drå) -- Bishop's throne in back of the Altar. The Amvon is also sometimes given this name.

CATHEDRAL (kå the' dral) -- Main church of a Diocese where the bishop has his throne.

CAROL (kar' ul) -- A joyous, festive hymn, simple in tune, sung at Christmas.

CATECHUMEN (kat' a ku' men) -- A person preparing for Baptism. In former times, catechumens were permitted to remain in church for only the first two portions of the Divine Liturgy.

CATHOLIC (kath' o lik) -- In literal meaning, denotes universal or all-embracing. Signifies that the Church of Christ is for all ages, for all nations, for all races and is the Ark of Salvation for all mankind.

CELEBRATION (sel' e bra' shun) -- Sacred performance of the Divine Liturgy and specifically, the Holy Communion.

CELEBRANT (sel' e brant) -- Person performing Holy Communion -- a bishop or priest. A deacon may not celebrate the Holy Eucharist but may assist.

CELIBACY -- (sel' i bå si) or (se lib' å si) -- In the Roman Church, a rule forbidding marriage in the clergy. In the Orthodox Church, those entering the priesthood cannot marry after being ordained. Orthodox bishops are chosen from celibates or widowers who have taken monastic vows.

CENSER (sen' sor) -- Vessel used for burning incense in church ceremonies.

CENSOR (sen' sor) or (sen' ser) -- Theologian appointed to examine books for ecclesiastical approval prior to publication. The censor ascertains that publications contain nothing contrary to the Orthodox doctrine.

CHALICE (chal' is) -- A sacred vessel, in the form of a cup, made of precious metal and consecrated to contain the wine which be-comes the Blood of Christ during the Divine Liturgy.

CHANCEL (chån' sul) -- The area around the altar, also called the Sanctuary, separated from the body of the church by the Iconostas.

CHAPEL (chap' el) -- A small house of worship where there is no parish.

CHAPLAIN (chap' lin) -- A priest in the armed services or authorized to officiate in military chapels. Also denotes a priest ministering to the religious needs of a school, fraternity or public institution.

CHAPTER (chap' ter) -- A division of a book of the Bible.

CHASUBLE (chaz' u bl) -- A large garment without sleeves, also called a Felon, short in front and with an opening for the head which is worn as the principal vestment by a priest in celebrating the Divine Liturgy.

CHRISM (krizm) -- Holy Oil, also called Myrrh, used in the Sacrament of Chrismation. Chrism is mixed and blessed by a group of bishops on Thursday of Holy Week.

CHRISMATION (kriz ma' shun) -- Also called Confirmation, is the Sacrament by which believers receive the Holy Spirit. In the Orthodox Church, it is administered immediately after Baptism.

CHRISTAN (kris' n) -- To name an infant at Baptism; to receive into the Church by Baptism. Baptism is often called Christening.

CHRISTIAN (kris' chan) -- One baptized into the Church to become a follower of Christ. Followers of Christ were first called Christians at Antioch.

CHRISTIAN NAME (kris' chan nam) -- The name given and received in the Sacrament of Baptism.

CHRISTMAS (kris' mås) -- The Feast of the Nativity or the Birthday of our Lord. Observed on December 25, old calendar, which is January 7th on the new Gregorian calendar.

CHURCH (chûrch) -- A divinely instituted community of believers. Members of the Orthodox Church are united by the Orthodox faith, the laws of God, the hierarchy and the Sacraments.

CHURCH MILITANT (chûrch mil' i tant) -- Members of the church on earth in warfare against sin and evil as distinguished from the Church Triumphant in Heaven.

CHURCHING OF WOMEN (chûrch ing) -- The blessing of women after childbirth. In the life of a Christian mother corresponds to the Feast of Purification of the Virgin Mary.

CLERGY (klûr' ji) -- Those ordained to the threefold ministry of the Church -- bishops, priests and deacons, as distinguished from laymen.

COMMUNION, HOLY (ko mun' yun) -- The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. After proper confession and absolution, the worshiper receives sanctifying grace through the true Body and Blood of Christ. Those who are to receive Communion must fast from midnight previous to the hour of receiving this sacrament.

COMMUNION OF SAINTS (ko mun' yun santz) -- All members of the Church, in heaven and on earth are in communion with each other, as being one Body in Christ.

COMPLINE, GRAND (kom' plin, grand) -- A service of worship said after nightfall in monasteries. In church parishes it is combined with Matins to form the All-Night Vigil Service.

CONFESSION (kon fesh' un) -- Acknowledgement of sin before God in the presence of a priest, the Sacrament of Penance.

CONFESSOR (kon fes' er) -- Person who hears confession or one who has suffered persecution for his faith.

CONFIRMATION (kon' f?r ma' shun) -- The Sacrament of Chrismation.

CONSECRATION (kon' se kra' shun) -- The dedication of anything to Divine Service or elevation of a member of- the clergy to the rank of bishop.

CONVENT (kon' vent) -- The dwelling of religious women living under monastic rules.

CORPORAL (kôr' pô ral) -- The cloth on the Altar on which the Holy Eucharist is consecrated. Also called Antimins.

CREED (kred) -- Articles of faith formulated by the Ecumenical Councils (Nicene Creed) or by the Holy Fathers (Athanasian Creed).

CROSIER (kro' zher) -- Staff carried by a bishop as a symbol of authority by which he rules his flock.

CROSS, ORTHODOX (krôs, ôr' thô doks) -- The Orthodox cross has three bars. The top bar represents the title nailed above Jesus and the short slanting lower bar rep-resents the footrest which points upward to remind believers that Christ points the way to Heaven.

CROSS, SIGN OF (krôs) -- The external representation of the Cross of Christ; the mark of Christians since the earliest days of the Christian faith. The Orthodox Church uses the sign of the Cross for all blessings.

CRUETS (kroo' ets) -- The two bottles on the Oblation Table used for holding the water and wine used in the preparation of the elements for the Holy Eucharist.

CUFFS (kufs) -- Worn as part of the vestments by deacons and priests. Cuffs remind deacons to put their strength in the right hand of the Lord. Worn by priests, the cuffs are symbolic of the bonds tying the hands of Christ and also symbolize that the priest's hands are tied against sin.

CUPOLA (ku' pô lå) -- The steeple domes found on most Orthodox churches. A church may have a single cupola or as many as thirteen. One dome predominates and signifies Christ as the head of the Church.


DALMATIC (dal mat' ik) -- The outer vestment worn by deacons during the service.

DEACON (de' kn) -- First of the three orders of Priesthood. Deacons assist priests at Di-vine Liturgies and other services.

DEAN (den) -- The elected or appointed supervisor of a district; the senior priest at a Cathedral; the faculty head of a Theological Seminary.

DIKIRI (di ke' re) -- Double candleholder used by a bishop in blessing worshipers at a Divine Service. It represents, the two natures of Christ, human and divine.

DIOCESE (di' o ses) -- Territory under the jurisdiction of one bishop.

DISPENSATION (dis' pen sa' shun) -- Permission granted by ecclesiastical authority for something not usually permitted by the Canon Law.

DOGMA (dôg' må) -- A truth contained in Scripture or Holy Tradition formulated by the Ecumenical Councils and Fathers of the Church.

DOORS (dorz) -- Most common association is with the three doors of the Iconostas. The north door leads to the Offertory-chapel, the south door to the Sacristy and the center doors are the Royal Doors, which have a curtain behind them.

DOXOLOGY (dok sol' ô ji) -- A prayer glorifying God.


EASTER (es' ter) -- Festival commemorating the Resurrection of Christ, known as the Feast of Feasts, greatest church day of the Orthodox year. The Orthodox Easter is celebrated the Sunday following the first full moon of spring. All movable feasts depend upon Easter.

ECTENIA (ek' ten eâ) -- Also known as Litany; a series of petitions chanted by the priest or deacon with responses by the choir.

ECUMENICAL COUNCIL (ek' u men' i kal koun' sil) -- An assembly of representatives of the Church legally convoked for the settlement of ecclesiastical affairs, formulating dogmas and making rules of faith and morals. Seven Ecumenical Councils are recognized by the Orthodox Church.

EMINENCE (em' i nens) -- Title of a Metropolitan.

ENTRANCE (en' trans) -- Solemn procession of the celebrants of Divine Liturgy. The Little Entrance is a procession of the Holy Gospel and the Great Entrance a procession bringing the Holy Gifts from the Oblation Table to the Altar.

EPIGONATION (ê pig' u na shun) -- An oblong piece of vestment ornament suspended upon the right hip as a symbol of the sword of the spirit. Indicates outstanding service.

EPIPHANY (e pif' å ni) -- Feast commemorating the manifestation of Christ -- the Baptism of Christ and the manifestation of God in the Holy Trinity through the descent of the Holy Spirit. This holy day is also known as Theophany.

EPISCOPATE (e pis' ko påt) -- Collectively, the entire body of bishops.

EPISTLE (e pis' l) -- A portion of the Scriptures read before the reading of the Gospel at Divine Liturgy.

EUCHARIST, HOLY (u' kå rist) -- The Sacrament under which bread and wine be-come the true Body and Blood of Christ with transubstantiation taking place during the Divine Liturgy.

EVANGELISTS (e van' jel ist) -- Inspired writers of the four Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

EVANGELIYE (e van je le' å) -- From the Greek, meaning good news; the book of the Gospels used in Divine Services.


FAITH (fath) -- The power bestowed by God which enables us to believe what God has revealed.

FASTING (fåst' ing) -- Abstaining from certain foods, particularly meat foods.

FASTING DAYS (fåst' ing) -- Days and seasons appointed by the Church during which the faithful abstain from meat.

FATHERS of the CHURCH (fä' thers) -- Early Christian writers and defenders of the faith.

FEAST (fest) -- A holy day commemorating some saint, some event in the life of Christ or in the life of the Virgin Mary. Easter is the Feast of Feasts and there are twelve other great feasts.

FILIOQUE (fil' i o'kwe) -- Words inserted in the Nicene Creed by the Roman Church regarding the Holy Spirit.

FRESCOS (fres' kos) -- Wall and ceiling murals, painted on 'the plaster, that adorn the church.

FRUITS of the HOLY SPIRIT (froots -- ho' li spir' it) -- Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.


GOD (god) -- The Supreme, Eternal Almighty Spirit, infinite in all perfections, the creator and governor of all things.

GODFATHER and GODMOTHER (god' fäth' er) (god' muth' er) -- Sponsors at Holy Baptism they promise that the godchild is taught the truths of Christian faith.

GOOD FRIDAY (good fri' da) -- The Friday preceding Easter, commemorating Christ's death on the Cross.

GOSPEL (gos' pel) -- Portion of the scriptures read by the priest during Divine Services.

GRACE(gras) -- The supernatural gift of God enabling us to attain salvation and obtained mainly by prayer and Sacraments.

GRADUAL (grad' u al) -- Verses from the Psalms or other portions of the Scripture which are sung before the reading of the Epistle.

GUARDIAN ANGELS (gär' di an) -- Angels divinely appointed at the time of Baptism to guide and protect each individual soul throughout life.

GLORIOUS WEEK (glo' ri us wek) -- The week which follows Easter Sunday.


HAGIOGRAPHY (hag' i og' rå fi) -- Lives of the Saints.

HEAVEN (hev' n) -- The place and state of perfect blessedness where those who are saved shall be in the full light of God's presence forever.

HELL (hel) -- The place and state of condemnation where lost souls are tormented eternally.

HERESY (her' e si) -- Denial or rejection of a revealed truth by one who has professed Christianity.

HERMIT (hur' mit) -- One retiring into a solitary life from religious motives.

HIERARCHY (hi' er är' ki) -- The higher clergy; the rulers in spiritual matters.

HOLY SPIRIT (ho' li spir' it) -- Third Person of the Divine Trinity.

HOLY WATER (ho'li wôter) -- Water blessed by the priest on the Day of Theophany and on other special occasions. Used to bless persons and things and to drive away evil spirits.

HOLY WEEK (ho' li wek) -- The week preceding Easter, commemorating the sufferings of Christ.

HOPE (hop) -- A supernatural gift of God which enables believers to trust that God will grant eternal life and the means necessary to obtain salvation.

HOSANNA (ho zan' å) -- From the Hebrew, meaning "O Lord, save, we pray.''

HOURS (ours) -- Simplest form of Orthodox service, performed during the different hours of the day.


INCARNATION (in' 'kär na' shun) -- The Christian doctrine that God the Son took to Himself the nature of man.

ICON or IKON (i' kon) -- Sacred picture.

ICONOSTAS (i' kon' o stas) - Image-screen. The high wall covered with sacred pictures that divides the Sanctuary from the Nave of the church.

INCENSE (in sens') -- Aromatic gum substance burnt in the censer; used during the Divine Services.

INFUSION (in fu' shun) -- Baptism by pouring water on the head instead of by immersion.

INCLINATION (in kli na' shun) -- Bowing the head -- usually accompanied by crossing -- as an unspoken Amen to a prayer.


JESUS CHRIST (je' zus krist) -- God the Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He is one person with two natures, God and man.

JUDGMENT, GENERAL (juj' ment jen' er al) -- Judgment of all mankind at the end of the world with the second coming of Christ.


KONDAKION (kon dåk'e on) -- Short hymn sung at the Divine Service. There is a different Kondakion for each of the eight tones with special ones for the feast days.


LAMB (lam) -- The Host, also known as Agnets. The portion of the bread adhering to the Seal cut from the first prosphora and intended for Consecration.

LANCE (låns) -- The double-edged, pointed lancet used to cut the Lamb and particles from the prosphora. Also called the Spear.

LENT (lent) -- Period of fasting. The Orthodox Church observes four lenten periods during the year with the greatest of these the fasting period before Easter.

LITANY (lit' å ni) -- Petitions recited by the deacon or priest with responses by the choir.

LITURGY, DIVINE (lit' ur ji di vin') -- Church services celebrating the Holy Eucharist. There are three Liturgies used in Orthodox churches.

LAMPADA (lam' pad å) -- Lamps burning be-fore icons as a mark of honor and as a reminder that the Light of Christ shines through His Saints.


MAGNIFICAT (mag nif' i kat) -- Hymn sung in honor of the Virgin Mary after the eighth ode of the Canon at Matins.

MANTIA (man' te a) -- Bishop's mantle, often of purple but may be of some other color, with a long train. Adorned with ribbons, usually red and white, and small bells.

MARTYR (mär' ter) -- One voluntarily enduring death for the faith.

MASS (mås) -- In the Orthodox Church, the Divine Liturgy. In the Western Church it is the service of the Eucharist.

MATRIMONY (mat' ri mo ni) -- Sacrament blessing and sanctifying Christian marriage.

METROPOLITAN (met' ro pol' i tan) -- Head archbishop of an ecclesiastical province.

MAUNDY THURSDAY (môn' di) -- Thursday of Holy Week, marked by the reading of the Twelve Gospels at evening services.

MATINS (mat' ins) -- Morning Divine Service preceding the Divine Liturgy. Sometimes held on the eve of a church holiday or Sunday.

MITER (mi' ter) -- Headdress worn by bishops. Archimandrites and some other clergy are also privileged to wear it.

MONASTERY (mon' as ter i) -- Dwelling-place of men leading a life of prayer under vows.

MONASTIC VOWS (mo nas' tik vous) -- Obedience, poverty and celibacy.

MONK (mungk) -- One renouncing the world to lead a religious life under monastic vows.

MOTHER OF GOD (muth' er of god) -- The Virgin Mary; Jesus, born of her as man, is also truly God.

MYSTERY (mis' ter i) -- A Sacrament, the outward sign of inward grace.

MYRRH (mûr) -- Sacred oil used for anointing in the Sacrament of Chrismation.


NARTHEX (när' theks) -- Vestibule area of church leading to the nave.

NATIVITY, FEAST OF (nå tiv' i ti fest) -- Christmas, commemorating the birth of the Savior. Observed December 25, New Calendar -- January 7, Old Calendar. Nativity of the Virgin Mary observed September 8; Nativity of John the Baptist observed June 24.

NAVE (nav) -- Center part of the church occupied by worshipers.

NICENE CREED (ni' sen kred) -- Twelve articles encompassing the Orthodox beliefs.

NUN (nun) -- Woman who has taken monastic vows.

NUNC DIMITIS (nungk di mit'is) -- Latin words beginning the Song of Simeon sung at Vespers.

N-I-K-A -- Initials of the Greek words meaning "By this thou conquer." These initials are stamped on the prosphora.


OBLATION (ob la' shun) -- The preparation of the elements of bread and wine before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.

OBLATION TABLE (ob la' shun tabl) -- Table placed against the wall on the left side of the altar where the elements are prepared for the Holy Eucharist before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.

OFFERTORY (of'er to ri) -- Provision, preparation and setting forth on the Altar of the bread, wine and water for Consecration.

ORDINAL (ôr' di nal) -- Book containing all the prayers and ceremonies in use at Pontifical services; also the Order of Ordination and Consecration for all grades and dignities of the Church.

ORDINATION (ôr' di na' shun) -- Sacrament under which bishops, through the laying on of hands, bestow priesthood on qualified candidates.

ORLETZ (ôr' letz) -- The Eagle. A small rug that a bishop stands on during Divine Service. Use is accorded to bishops alone.

OMOFOR (o' mo for) -- Bishop's stole which is very broad and which hangs down in front and behind over other vestments. Also called the Pall.

ORAR (o rar') -- The deacon's stole, a long wide band of material worn over the left shoulder, sometimes crossed upon the breast and back.

OKTOICH (ôk' toik) -- Service book containing the Canons and hymns of the Eight Tones used during the Short and Great Vespers and Matins.


PALL (pôl) -- Stole worn by a bishop. Also called Omofor.

PANAGIA (på na' gi å) -- Round or oval image of Christ or the Virgin Mary, richly decorated, worn on the chest by bishops. Means the All-Holy.

PARISH (par' ish) -- Group of faithful united under a properly ordained priest to form a unit of a Diocese and adhering to the tenets of the Church.

PARISH REGISTER (par' ish re j'is ter) -- Book recording all baptisms, marriages and deaths occurring in a parish.

PASCHAL CANON (pas' kal kan' un) -- Rule for determining the dates of Easter and other movable feasts.

PASCHAL WEEK (pas' kal wek) -- The week following Easter.

PASSION WEEK (pash' un wek) -- Week pre-ceding Easter, commemorating the sufferings and death on the Cross of Christ.

PATEN (pat' en) -- Round, flat plate, usually made of silver, upon which the Holy Bread is placed and consecrated.

PATRIARCH (pa' tri ärk) -- Originally one of the bishops of the four ancient centers of Christianity -- Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. Now, the highest dignitary in the church hierarchy.

PECTORAL CROSS (pek' to ral krôs) -- Cross worn on the chest of priests and bishops as a mark of their office.

PENANCE (pen' ans) -- The Sacrament through which the sins committed after Baptism are forgiven through confession.

PENITENTIAL PSALM (pen' i ten' shål säm) -- The 50th Psalm of David (the 51st Psalm in English Bibles).

PENTECOST (pen' te kost) -- Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Disciples on the fiftieth day after Easter.

PERSECUTIONS (pûr' se ku' shuns) -- Periods of ill treatment and oppression inflicted because of religious beliefs. In the first three centuries of Christianity there were ten great persecutions.

PONTIFICAL (pon tif' i kal) -- Relating to the bishops, as Pontifical Services.

PSALTER (sôl' ter) -- Book of Psalms in the Old Testament used in all Divine Services.

PRESTOL (pres' tol) -- The Altar, representing the throne of God in heaven with God him-self on it. Also represents the tomb of Christ since His body is placed thereon.

PRIMATE (pri' mat) -- Term applied to the ruling archbishop.

PROKIMENON (pro ki' me non) -- Verse and refrain which is read and sung before the reading of the Epistle. Also called Gradual.

PROSKOMIDE (prôs ko mi' de) -- From the Greek, meaning to bring offering. The first part of the Divine Liturgy consisting of the preparation of bread and wine used in the communion.

PROSPHORA (prôs fôr' å) -- Altar Breads used for the Sacrament of Eucharist.


READER (red' er) -- One reading the Psalms, verses and the lesson from the Epistle.

REQUIEM (re' kwi em) -- Service for the re-pose of the souls of the faithful departed.

RESURRECTION OF CHRIST (rez' u rek' shun of krist) -- Christ's rising from the dead.

RITUAL (rit' u al) -- Approved order of a ceremony.

RUBRICS (roo' briks) -- From the Latin meaning red. Directions for Divine Services for each Sunday and all holy days, so-called be-cause they are generally printed in red letters.

REVERENCE (rev' er ens) -- A profound bow or a prostration.


SABAOTH (sab' å oth) -- In Hebrew means hosts, hence "The Lord God of Hosts."

SABBATH (sab' åth) -- The seventh day, of the week, ordered to be kept holy by the Fourth Commandment. The day God rested after creation. The Apostles transferred the obligation to the first day of the week in honor of Christ's resurrection.

SACRAMENT (sak' rå ment) -- A mystery -- an outward visible sign of an inward invisible grace. The Orthodox Church has Seven Sacraments.

SACRIFICE (sak' ri fis) -- A holy offering. The great Christian Sacrifice is the Holy Eucharist.

SACRISTY (sak' ris ti) -- Room alongside the Sanctuary where the sacred vessels and vestments are kept and where the clergy put on their robes for Divine Services.

SAINT (sant) -- One who has led a pure and holy life and has been inscribed in the list of saints and whose memory is celebrated on a given day.

SAKKOS (sak' kôs) -- Proper Eucharistic vestment of bishops.

SANCTUARY (sangk' tu a ri) -- Area of the church, separated from the nave by the iconostas, where the altar stands.

SCHISM (sizm) -- Separation from the True Apostolic Church. The Great Schism of 1054 divided the Church into East and West.

SEE (se) -- Place where a bishop holds jurisdiction.

SOLEA (so' le a) -- The raised floor in front of the Iconostas. The middle portion, just in front of the Royal Doors, where Holy Communion is administered, is called the Amvon.

SPOON (spoon) -- Sacred object used to convey the Holy Gifts (body and blood of Christ) into the mouths of communicants.

STOLE (stol) -- Long, narrow vestment worn over the left shoulder by a deacon. A priest's Stole is worn around the neck and joined in front for its entire length, falling low upon the cassock. Neither priests nor deacons can celebrate any service or office without the Stole.

SPONSOR (spon' ser) -- A Godparent at Baptism.

SUNDAY (sun' da) -- First day of the week, observed by Christians as a day of rest and worship in commemoration of Christ's Resurrection.


TABERNACLE (tab' er nå kl) -- Receptacle, standing on the Altar, in which- the Blessed Sacraments are reserved before conveyance to the sick.

TE DEU UI (te de' um) -- Hymn ascribed to St. Ambrose which is sung at a service of Thanksgiving.

THAUMATURGUS (thô' må tûr gus) -- Title applied to various saints distinguished for their miracles. A wonder-worker.

THEOLOGY (the ol' o ji) -- The science teaching of God and the things of God. Positive Theology explains and interprets the Holy Scriptures and the writings of Church Fathers. Dogmatic Theology proves and de-fends truths of the faith. Moral Theology explains Christian conduct.

THEOTOKION (the ot' o ke on) -- Hymn in honor of the Mother of God.

THEOTOKOS (the ot' o kos) -- The Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

THURIBLE (thu' ru bl) -- A censer, the vessel in which incense is burned. Also called Kadilo.

TITHES (tiths) -- The tenth part. From earliest times held to be the part due to God.

TONE (ton) -- Standard melody for versicles, troparion and prokimenon, arranged in eight tones, which are sung in continuous cycle throughout the year.

TRADITION, HOLY (trå dish' un, ho' li) -- The spiritual treasures inherited .from the ancestral Holy Fathers, in accord with the scriptures but larger in extent.

TRANSUBSTANTIATION (tran' sub stan' shi a' shun) -- In the Holy Eucharist, the changing of bread and wine, at consecration, into the body and blood of Christ.

TREBNIK (treb' nik) -- Book containing the prayers and order of administration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation and Confession and the Rites of Burial and other services.

TRINITY, HOLY (trin' i ti, ho' li) -- The mystery of faith which teaches that there is One God in Three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit:

TRIKIRI (tri' ker e) -- Candleholder for three candles, representing the Holy Trinity, used by the bishop to bestow blessings upon the people.

TRISAGION (tris ag' i on) -- The thrice-holy hymn sung at the Divine Liturgy and often said as a prayer "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have. mercy on us."

TROPARION (trô pa' ri on) -- Short hymn sung after the Little Entrance in the Divine Liturgy. There is a different Troparion for each of the eight tones with special ones for each of the feasts.


UNCTION (ungk' shûn) -- The Sacrament which provides spiritual healing for bodily ills and prepares those critically ill for the better life in Heaven. This Sacrament includes anointment with oil.

UNIATE GREEK CATHOLICS (u' ne ate) -- Those , once Orthodox who later acknowledged the authority of the Pope. In church services they follow the Greek rite but adhere to the Roman dogmas.

UNFROCK (un frok') -- Depriving a priest or bishop of his Orders for a grave offense.


VEIL (val) -- The covering for the Chalice and Paten, used at the beginning and end of the Divine Liturgy.

VERY REVEREND (ver'i rev'?r end) -- Title of address accorded to archpriests.

VESPERS (ves' perz) -- Even-song. The evening service.

VESSELS, SACRED (ves' els, sa' kred) -- Vessels used in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

VESTMENTS (vest' ments) -- The special garments worn by deacons, priests and bishops in the celebration of Divine Services and in administering the Sacraments.

VIGIL (vij' il) -- The eve of a holy day.

VOW (vou) -- A promise willingly made to God to do something pleasing to Him.


WEEKLY CYCLE OF SERVICES (wek' li si'kl of sûr' vis es) -- Each day of the week is consecrated to special memories concerning Christ, the Angels, Apostles, Saints and de-parted Christians.

WESTERN CHURCH (wes'tern chûrch) -- The part of the Universal Church which separated in 1054 with the Pope of Rome at the head. Commonly referred to as the Roman Catholic Church.

WINDING SHEET (win'ding shet) -- A large sheet of velvet with an image of the Entombment of Christ inscribed on it. It is brought out on Good Friday to the center of the church for adoration. On Saturday before midnight it is placed on the Altar and remains there until the Feast of Ascension.

WORSHIP (wûr' ship) -- Religious services for the glorification of God.


YEAR, ECCLESIASTICAL (yer, e kle' zi as' tik al) -- The church calendar which begins the first of September.


ZONE (zon) -- The belt or girdle worn by priests and bishops when robed for celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Made of the same material as the vestments.

Taken from: "Faith of our Fathers -- The Eastern Orthodox Religion" by Stan W. Carlson and The Very Rev. Leonid Soroka, Dean UMW Published by The Olympic Press, Minneapolis, MN -- Copyright 1954, revised in 1958. Officially approved for publication by Metropolitan Leonty, Archbishop of NY, Primate, ROGCChurch of NA, and The Rev. Joseph Stephanko, Censor, St. Andrew of Crete Day, NY City, NY.

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