How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

132 terms

Catechism of the Catholic Church Vocabulary

132 vocabulary words from the Catholic Catechism. Used with students in grades 5-8.
STUDY
PLAY
Paschal Mystery
The central truth of Christianity; the mystery of the life, death, and resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
Peter
The leader of the apostles; the first pope whose successors are today's bishops
Font
A basin for holding baptismal water in the church
Nun
A name to describe Catholic religious women dedicated to God with vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience
Jesus New Commandment
"Love one another as I love you" (Jn 15:12)
Rectory
The house in which the parish priest lives
Initiation
The process by which an individual becomes a member of the church; includes three sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and eucharist
Apostles Creed
A faithful summary of the faith of the apostles; "The oldest Roman catechism"
Sanctuary
The main area in the church building where the altar is placed
Emmanuel
One of the names given to Jesus in the Bible; it means "God is with us"
Sacristy
A room in the church where the sacred vessels and vestments are kept
Calvary
The name of the hill on which Jesus died
Nicene Creed
A detailed statement of the Christian faith which came from the first two ecumenical councils: Nicea (325) and Constantinople (381)
Decalogue
Another name for the Ten Commandments; the name literally means "ten words"
Francis of Assisi
An Italian saint who embraced poverty and is known for his love of animals
Pentecost
The feast-fifty days after Easter-that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit on the church
Assumption
The feast day (August 15) that celebrates Mary's being taken body and soul into heaven
Beatitudes
Jesus' "recipe" for happiness given at the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:3-12)
Ascension
The feast that celebrates Jesus' going up to heaven body and soul
Altar
The holy table on which the sacrifice of the mass is offered
INRI
Letters that stand for "Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews" in Aramaic, Greek, and Latin
Annunciation
The feast day (March 25) that celebrates Mary's acceptance of the angel's request that she be Mother of God
Psalm
An Old Testament hymn attributed to king David
Angels
Creatures with intelligence and free will who act as messengers for God in the Bible
Easter
The central Christian feast that celebrates Jesus' resurrection
Temptation
An enticement to do or say somethig we know to be evil
Charity
The greatest of the theological virtues: another name for love
Rosary
A devotion to Mary, the mother of God, consisting primarily of Hail Mary's and Our Fathers and meditation on the joyful, luminous sorrowful, and glorious mysteries
Mother Teresa
A holy nun who cared for dying persons with no place to go and founded the Missionaries of Charity
Apostles
The twelve men chosen by Jesus to be his special followers
Stations of the Cross
The Catholic devotion that walks the journey to Calvary with Jesus
Transubstantiation
The theological term that names the change of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ
Eucharist
Communion, breaking of the bread, Lord's Supper, Sacrifice of the Mass, Holy Liturgy, Memorial feast
Abraham
The spiritual father of the Jewish people
Seven Capital Sins
Pride, Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth, Wrath
Chrism
Perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop and signifying the gift of the spirit to the one anointed
Immaculate Conception
Doctrine that states that Mary was preserved from original sin
Advent
The church season that prepares for the coming of Christ
Canonization
The official process that certifies sainthood
Sin
A word, deed, or desire contrary to the will of God; an offense against God
Idolatry
Divinizing what is not God; honoring a creature in place of God
Chalice
A cup for the consecrated wine at Eucharist
Triduum
A sacred three-day period in the church that begins with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday and concludes on the evening of Easter Sunday
Atheist
A person who believes that there is no God
Holy Days of Obligation
Days other than Sundays on which the faithful are obliged to attend and participate at mass
Anointing of the Sick
One of the seven sacraments; usually for people who are in danger of death or are experiencing an extended or serious illness
Stole
A long scarf worn over the shoulders of priests and bishops while officiating
Catholic
A word that means "universal"; it is also the name of a major Christian religion
All Saints Day
The church feast on November 1 that honors all saints who have not been canonized
Adoration
The highest form of praise, due only to God
Golden Rule
"Do to others whatever you would have them do unto you"
John the Baptist
The cousin of Jesus and son of Elizabeth
Creed
A formal profession that summarizes the faith of Christians
Gospels
The four books of the Bible that give a record of the life of Jesus; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
Vatican
The city which is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church
Satan
A fallen angel; the prince of devils
Ash Wednesday
The first day of Lent
Absolution
The prayer of forgiveness spoken by the priest in the sacrament of reconciliation
Sabbath
The weekly day of rest and worship in the Hebrew tradition; replaced by Sunday for Christians
Liturgy
The participation of the people of God in "the work of God" the divine worship
Hell
Separation from God for all eternity by our own free choice; definitive self-exclusion from communion with God
Miter
The pointed hat worn by the bishop
Pope John Paul II
Was the first non-Italian pope in over four hundred years: the pope who shephered the church into the third millennium
Adultery
Sexual relations between two persons, at least one of whom is married to another
Almsgiving
Giving food, money, and clothing to relieve the poor; th giving must be free and done for the love of God
Communion of Saints
Union of the believers on earth, the souls in purgatory, and blessed in heaven, altogether forming one church
Conscientious Objector
One who refuses to serve in the armed forces on grounds of conscience
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Wisdom, courage, right judgment, understanding, knowledge, reverence, wonder and awe in god's presence
Agnostic
A person who claims it is not possible to know if there is a God
Exorcism
A special prayer in which the church, in the name of Jesus, asks that a person be withdrawn from the dominion of the devil
Ruah
A word that means both Spirit and breath; a name for the third person of the trinity
Marks of the Church
One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic
Protestant Reformation
The split in Christianity that began in the sixteenth century in Europe
Ecumenism
The effort to bring about unity among Christian churches
Testament
A word that means covenant or "sacred agreement between God and human persons"
Fornication
Sexual intercourse between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman
Aramaic
A common language spoken in Palestine during the time of Jesus
Parousia
A word that means "arrival" or "presence"; it refers to the second coming of Jesus
Chrismation
Term used in eastern rite churches for the sacrament of confirmation
Actual grace
God's special gift given as we need it to live the Christian life
Ecumenical Council
A gathering of all bishops of the world in order to make solemn decisions for the universal church
Yhwh
The Hebrew letters for the unnameable God
Martin Luther
The German priest who broke from the Catholic church and started a Christian sect named for him
Augustine
One of the Church's great theologians; a church doctor; a saint; son of St. Monica
Catechesis
Passing on the truths of Christianity; the education in the faith
Natural Law
The original moral sense which enables a person to know what is good and what is evil
Faith
The human person's response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to us; the personal adherence of the individual to God
Chastity
The abstinence from sexual intercourse outside of marriage; moral purity in thought and conduct
Monsignor
An honorary title given to a priest to recognize his outstanding service
Ministry
Any form of active Christian service
Charisms
Special graces given an individual which directly or indirectly benefit the church
Synoptic Gospels
Matthew, Mark, and Luke; commonly believed to be derived from the same source; the word means "seeing with the same eye"
Diocese
The geographical region under the leadership of a local bishop called an ordinary
Seal of Confession
The absolute confidentiality required of a priest regarding sins revealed in confession
Conversion
A change of heart; the response of the heart, touched by grace to God's mercy
Logos
Greek word for "word"; one of the names given to the second person of the trinity
Sanctifying Grace
A gift from God that perfects the soul and enables us to live with God and to act according to his call
Envy
One of the capital sins; the desire to obtain another's goods unjustly
Excommunication
Most severe penalty in the church which excludes the person from receiving communion
Consecration
Time in mass when the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ
Hinduism
The major religion of India; characterized by the belief in reincarnation and a supreme being of many forms and natures
Mohammed
The founder of the Islamic religion
Encyclical
A letter from the pope to the entire church
Cardinal Virtues
Prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance
Permanent deacon
A rank of ordination for service in the church which is open to married men
Pentateuch
Greek name given to the first five books of the old testament
Ecclesiology
The study of the church
Pope
The supreme leader of the church; title given to the Caholic bishop of Rome
Apostolic succession
The unbroken chain of authority that extends from the apostles to the bishops of today
Sacramentals
Christian objects, prayers, or blessings that are identified as sacred; for example: the sign of the cross, a crucifix, blessed oils, statues of Saints
Litany
Greek word meaning "to pray"; a Christian form of prayer that includes invocations and responses
Celibacy
A promise to God not to marry or engage in sexual activity
Grace
The human person's participation in the life of God
Paschal Candle
The symbol of the risen Christ that stands in the sanctuary from Easter to Ascension
Passover
A seven-day Jewish festival that recalls how the angel of death "passed over" the Hebrew people and allowed them to escape Egypt
Magisterium
The teaching authority of the church
Pope John XXIII
The pope who called Vatican Council II in 1962 to update the Church.
Infallibility
Special help the Holy Spirit provides to protect the church from error in matters of faith and morals
Exodus
Old Testament book that tells the story of the escape of the chosen people from Egypt
Poverty, Chastity, Obedience
Vows taken by consecrated religious men and women
blasphemy
Words of hatred, reproach, or defiance spoken against God
Calumny or Slander
Remarks contrary to the truth which harm the reputation of another
College of Bishops
Refers to all the bishops of the world together in union with their head, the bishop of Rome
Catechumen
A person who is being initiated into Christianity
Inspiration
The power of the Holy Spirit, working through human authors, to compose the sacred books of scripture
Dorothy Day
Twentieth-century social activist and founder of newspaper The Catholic Worker
Epistle
A Greek word meaning "letter" or "message"; for example: the letters of St. Paul contained in the New Testament
Viaticum
Holy Communion received by dying persons to help them pass over to God in the afterlife
Schism
A separation or division in the church
Incarnation
Theological term that names the mystery that Jesus is both fully God and Fully human
Hope
Theological virtue that allows us to trust and believe firmly in God
Rubrics
forms, directions, and rituals that guide christian service