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Advent

The liturgical season of the Christian year consisting of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. Its liturgical color is purple.

Angus Dei

The formula beginning with the words "O Lamb of God" recited three times by the priest in the Latin mass shortly before Communion

Analogia Entis

Literally "analogy of being"; the process of gaining knowledge about God through rational thought or the observation of the natural world.

Analogia Fidei

Literally "analogy of faith"; the process of gaining knowledge about God through revelation given by God himself.

Apocrypha

The biblical books received by the early church as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament but not included in the Hebrew Bible. Catholics include these books in their canon, while Protestants normally exclude them.

Apostles' Creed

A statement used only in the western Catholic church (not in the Orthodox churches). It falls into three sections concerned with the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Its precise origins are unknown, but it was probably in use by the fourth century C.E.

Atonement

Humanity's reconciliation with God through the sacrificial suffering and death of Christ.

Baptism

The sacramental rite, either through sprinkling or immersion, which admits a candidate to the Christian church.

Calvin, John

(1509-1564) French Reformer and theologian.

Council on Church Union (CCU)

A movement in the United States, particularly during the 1960s and early 1970s, which sought to bring together nine of the major Protestant communions into one large cohesive denomination.

Credo

Literally "I believe"; the title of the portion of the Latin mass which contains the Nicene confession of faith.

Crucifix

A model of the cross bearing an image of the crucified Lord.

Ecumenical Movement

The movement among Christians concerned with the recovery of the unity of all believers in Christ, transcending differences of creed, ritual, and polity.

Epiphany

The season in the Christian liturgical calendar beginning on January 6 which either celebrates the baptism of Christ (Orthodox) or Christ's manifestation to the non-Jewish world in the persons of the Magi (Catholic). The liturgical color is green.

Episcopal

Refers to the system of church government which is overseen by bishops.

Eucharist

From the Greek word meaning "thanks-giving"; another name for Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper, or, in Latter-day Saint terms, the sacrament.

Gloria

A portion of the Latin mass which gives praise to God in the words "Glory to God in the highest".

Holy Communion

The eucharist, or the Lord's Supper. It is equivalent of the Latter-day Saint term sacrament.

Holy Orders

The higher grades of the Christian ministry-bishop, priest, and deacon.

Homoiousios

The term preferred by Arian Christians to express the relation of the members of the God-head. It means "of one substance".

Icons

Flat pictures-usually painted on wood, but somtimes made from mosaic, ivory, and other materials-representing the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or other saints; used and venerated among Orthodox communions.

Inner-Trinitarian Decree

The concept that God, within himself, as a triune God composed of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, determined the plan of salvation long before the creation of anything outside himself.

John XXIII

(1881-1963) Became pope in 1958. He is best known for calling the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II), which reviewed Catholic doctrines relating to the laity, interfaith attitudes, the role of clergy, etc.

Kyrie

Refers to a portion of the Latin mass which contains the words "Lord have mercy".

Lent

The forty days before Easter, exclusive of the Sundays. Lent is normally observed as a time of penance by abstaining from festivities, by almsgiving, and by devoting more than the usual time to religious exercises. The liturgical color for this season of the Christian year is purple.

Liturgical Calendar

Sets out certain periods within the Christian year for special observance and thereby highlights the major acts of Christ's redeeming work.

Luther, Martin

(1482-1546) The founder of the German Reformation, a Catholic priest, and a professor of moral philosophy and scripture at the University of Wittenberg.

Mary

The virgin mother of Jesus. She is an object of veneration in Catholic theology and, because of her position as the mother of Jesus, is chief among the saints.

Neo-Platonic Thought

The philisophical system of Plotinus (ca. 205-260 CE) and his successors. It drew its ideas from Plato, but its purposes were more religious. The main purpose of the neo-Platonists was to provide an intellectual basis for life: in God the distinction between Thought and Reality was to be overcome.

Paul VI

(1897-1978) Became pope in 1963 and carried through much of the work of Vatican II.

Penance

Originally a long and difficult process of public confession of sin with accompanying works to allow a return to the church. Today, penance is a private act between priest and parishioner consisting of confession, absolution, and formal penance.

Pentecost

The day in the church calendar fifty days after Easter which celebrates the coming of the Holy Ghost to the church. The liturgical color is red.

Reformed

Used in this chapter to designate those denominations and traditions which generally arose from the teachings of Luther and Calvin. Denominations technically considered "reformed" are Presbyterian, Lutheran, Congregational, and Dutch Reformed.

Sanctus

That portion of the mass which contains the words "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts."

Septuagint

The most influential of the Greek version of the Old Testament; often abbreviated LXX.

Seven Sacraments

The sacraments of the church celebrated by Catholic Christians; baptism, confirmation, the eucharist, penance, unction, holy orders, and matrimony.

Transubstantiation

The Catholic doctrine that the bread and wine of the eucharist actually become the body of Christ in their essence, but in their accidents (appearances) appear appear still to be bread and wine. The doctrine is an attempt to explain how the believer may actually participate through the eucharist in the life and death of the Lord.

Trinity

The doctrine of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as one God of the same substance, yet in three manifestations, in a manner that cannot be explained by mortals. The term also refers to the last five months of the Christian year, in which the implications of the world-wide gospel in daily life are contemplated. The liturgical color is green.

Unction

The process of anointing with oil, which may be used at baptism or confirmation or in blessing the sick.

Vulgate

The Latin version of the Bible most widely used in the West. It was the work of Saint Jerome, who compiled it at the command of Pope Damasus (382 CE).

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