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Glossary of Terms

Acolyte
A person assisting the celebrant in a religious service or procession.

Advent
The first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.

Apostle
Each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ.

Ash Wednesday
The first day of Lent in the Western Christian Church, marked by services of penitence.

Baptism

The sacrament by which God adopts us as His children and makes us members of Christ's Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God.

Celebrant
A person who performs a rite, especially a priest at the Eucharist.

Clergy
The body of all people ordained for religious duties, especially in the Christian Church.

Collect
(in church use) a short prayer, especially one assigned to a particular day or season.

Communion
The service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.

Congregation

A group of people assembled for religious worship.

Disciple
A personal follower of Jesus during his life, especially one of the twelve Apostles.

Ecumenical
Promoting or relating to unity among the world's Christian Churches.

Epiphany
The festival commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, celebrated on January 6.

Eucharist
Eucharist is the sacrament commanded by Christ for the continual remembrance of his life, death, and resurrection, until his coming again. 

Fast
Abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.

Good Friday

The Friday before Easter Sunday, on which the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated in the Christian Church. It is traditionally a day of fasting and penance.

Holy Trinity
The Christian Godhead as one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Lent
A solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday.

Maundy Thursday
T
he Thursday before Easter, observed in the Christian Church as a commemoration of the Last Supper.

Mission
The vocation or calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith.

Narthex
An antechamber, porch, or distinct area at the western entrance of some early Christian churches, separated off by a railing and used by catechumens, penitents, etc.

Offertory
The offering of the bread and wine at the Eucharist.

Other Sacraments

Sacramental rites include confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent, and unction of the sick and are "conditional" sacraments (i.e., they are not required of all persons, but apply in certain situations).

Parish
(in the Christian Church) a small administrative district typically having its own church and a priest or pastor.

Penitence
The action of feeling or showing sorrow and regret for having done wrong; repentance.

Pentecost
The Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension, held on the seventh Sunday after Easter.

Salvation
Deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ.

Sanctuary
The inmost recess or holiest part of a temple or church.

Savior
(In Christianity) God or Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sin and saver of souls.

Sermon
A talk on a religious or moral subject, especially one given during a church service and based on a passage from the Bible.

Shrove Tuesday
The day before Ash Wednesday. Though named for its former religious significance, it is chiefly marked by feasting and celebration, which traditionally preceded the observance of the Lenten fast.

Worship
The acts or rites that make up a formal expression of reverence for a deity; a religious ceremony or ceremonies.