Glossary

Albsearch for term

Long white garment worn for liturgical celebrations.

Altarsearch for term

Table on which Mass is offered.

Altar of reposesearch for term

The altar where the hosts, consecrated in the Mass on Holy Thursday, are reserved for Holy Communion on the following day, which is Good Friday.

Angelsearch for term

Spiritual being, intermediary between God and human beings, minister of God’s will.

Baptismsearch for term

Sacrament by which a person is welcomed into the Church.

Beatificationsearch for term

Solemn act through which the Pope declares a deceased person as blessed. This is the final step toward canonization of a saint.

Blessed Sacramentsearch for term

The Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Blessingsearch for term

Action the priest makes to bless the faithful or to consecrate objects for worship. The blessing can be made with a Sign of the Cross or with sprinkling of holy water.

Boardersearch for term

A student who lives at the school he/she attends.

Boarding Schoolsearch for term

School, private teaching institution where the students have room and board.

Candlesticksearch for term

Candleholder.

Canonizationsearch for term

Solemn proclamation by the Pope and ceremony through which a person is officially admitted to the Canon of Saints.

Cassocksearch for term

Long robe buttoned down the front that from the beginning of the XVIIIth century was the non liturgical garment worn by clerics; usually black for priests, purple for bishops and other prelates, red for cardinals, white for the Pope.

Chalicesearch for term

A large cup used at Mass to hold wine.

Chapelsearch for term

A small place of worship in an institution or private house or a church that is not a parish.

Chapletsearch for term

Beads strung together on which prayers are counted as they are recited. The five decade rosary is the best known.

Chaptersearch for term

General Assembly of elected members and the main governing body of a religious community.

Chastitysearch for term

The vow by which a person freely gives up the right to marriage, and adds the obligation of the virtue of religion to the duty of abstaining from all voluntary indulgence of sexual pleasure.

Chasublesearch for term

A sleeveless outer garment that the priest wears over the alb and stole to celebrate mass.

Christiansearch for term

A person who believes in Jesus Christ.

Churchsearch for term

1-The whole body of Christians. 2-A building for Christian worship.

Ciboriumsearch for term

Sacred vessel for holding the consecrated bread for the communion of the faithful.

Clergysearch for term

The ordained ministers of a religion.

Cloisteredsearch for term

Secluded from the world; confined in a monastery or convent.

Communicantsearch for term

A person who receives Communion.

Communionsearch for term

Distribution of the bread and wine consecrated at Mass (Eucharist).

Communitysearch for term

Religious society subject to a common rule.

Confirmationsearch for term

Sacrament by which a baptized Christian becomes a full member in the Church.

Congregation Leadersearch for term

Head of a religious community.

Conventsearch for term

Boarding school for young girls administered by nuns, also a residence for members of a religious community.

Cornettesearch for term

A headpiece made of a large white piece of starched linen.

Cruetsearch for term

A small bottle that holds water or wine used at Mass.

Diocesesearch for term

Religious territory for which a bishop is responsible.

Dogmasearch for term

Fundamental and incontestable beliefs of a religion.

Ecclesiasticalsearch for term

Pertaining to the Church and its clergy.

Eucharistsearch for term

The common name for the Eucharistic liturgy of the Catholic Church. Synonyms: Eucharist, Celebration of the Liturgy, Eucharistic celebration, Sacrifice of the Mass, Lord's Supper.

Exposition of the Blessed Sacramentsearch for term

A religious service honouring the Eucharist by exposing the Blessed Sacrament, with proper solemnity, to the view of the faithful. The service includes private or public adoration, prescribed hymns, and a blessing of the people.

Finance Officesearch for term

Service responsible for the financial management of a religious organization.

Fontsearch for term

A receptacle for holding holy water.

General Councilsearch for term

Highest administrative body of the religious community.

Jesus Christsearch for term

Recognized by Christians as the Messiah, Son of God and Redeemer.

Liturgical vestmentssearch for term

Special garments worn by the clergy during liturgical and church services, according to Church regulations.

Masssearch for term

The common name for the Eucharistic liturgy of the Catholic Church. Synonyms: Eucharist, Celebration of the Liturgy, Eucharistic celebration, Sacrifice of the Mass, Lord's Supper.

Messiahsearch for term

In the Christian religion, Jesus Christ.

Miraclesearch for term

Extraordinary event caused by what is believed to be benevolent divine intervention that is given a spiritual significance.

Missionsearch for term

Place where the work of a religious community is carried out.

Missionarysearch for term

A person who is sent to particular place or region to preach the Gospel and extend the Kingdom of God by various means of catechesis and evangelization.

Monasterysearch for term

Building in which members of a religious community live.

Necrologysearch for term

List of those who died on a certain date or during a specific period.

Novicesearch for term

A person formally admitted to a religious community to prepare for religious profession.

Novitiatesearch for term

Period of probation and formation for a novice which ends with the pronouncing of vows.

Officesearch for term

Official prayer of the Church; also known as the Liturgy of the Hours.

Orationsearch for term

Prayer; also a formal speech given on a ceremonial occasion.

Oratorysearch for term

Place for prayer, small chapel.

Ordersearch for term

A title loosely applied to all religious groups of men and women such as a religious congregation bound together by common rules.

Parishsearch for term

A specific community of the Christian Faithful within a diocese, which has its own church building and pastor. Most parishes are formed on a geographic basis, but they may be formed along national or ethnic lines.

Parloursearch for term

Room where visitors are received.

Pastorsearch for term

The priest who is in charge of a parish or congregation.

Pilgrimagesearch for term

Individual or group journey to a sacred place for religious purposes as an act of devotion.

Postulancysearch for term

Period before the novitiate in which a person acquires some knowledge of religious life and a particular religious community through personal experience.

Prayersearch for term

The raising of the mind and heart to God in adoration, thanksgiving, reparation and petition.

Prefect of studiessearch for term

Person responsible for supervising the academic program.

Priestsearch for term

An ordained minister authorized to offer Mass, perform certain rites and administer the sacraments.

Processionsearch for term

A walk through the streets in a large group during which the participants sing and pray.

Professionsearch for term

Act by which a novice makes vows.

Reclusesearch for term

A person who lives in seclusion.

Recollectionsearch for term

To gather one’s thoughts through meditation, prayer.

Retreatsearch for term

A period of time when one stops usual activity and goes to a quiet place for prayer and recollection.

Rosarysearch for term

Object of devotion made of a string of beads divided into sets of ten that you slide between your fingers as one recites the Our Father followed by ten Hail Marys (prayer addressed to the Blessed Virgin).

Rulesearch for term

A body of regulations, a code of practice and discipline, prescribed for a religious community.

Sabbatical Yearsearch for term

One year leave for study and /or research.

Sacramentsearch for term

Rite instituted by Jesus Christ to confer grace. There are seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Matrimony, Orders, Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation.

Secularsearch for term

Not religious, not connected with spiritual or religious matters.

Sermonsearch for term

Talk on a moral or religious subject given as part of a church service.

Sexenniumsearch for term

Period of six years.

Smallholdingsearch for term

A small piece of land used for farming.

Spiritualsearch for term

Of or relating to sacred matters, religion or religious belief.

Stolesearch for term

A long narrow strip of cloth worn around the neck by all ordained ministers.

Superiorsearch for term

Head of a religious community; also known as the Congregation Leader.

Supérioratsearch for term

Mandate of the community superior.

Tabernaclesearch for term

Small locked cabinet that contains the consecrated hosts.

Teacher Training Collegesearch for term

Institution for training teachers to teach in public schools.

Theologysearch for term

The study of God and religious beliefs.

Vowsearch for term

A promise made freely to God. Obedience, poverty and chastity are the three vows pronounced by a man or a woman when they enter a religious order.

Worshipsearch for term

Religious practice by which God is praised.