Anglican Diocese of Wellington
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Glossary of Terms

Act a Bill after its enactment
Advent means "coming". A time of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas.
Alb a full length, white linen garment worn by those leading worship. Held at the waist by a girdle.
Altar a special table on which the Eucharist is celebrated.
Archdeacon a person (lay or ordained) either overseeing others in a particular geographical area within a Diocese, for example Archdeacon of Belmont, or, a person serving a specific function, for example Archdeacon for Youth.
Ascension this marks the fortieth day after Easter Sunday and commemorates the withdrawal (ascension) of Christ into heaven witnessed by His followers.
Ash Wednesday the day following Shrove Tuesday, and marking the beginning of the Lenten period, when services of penitence are held during which ash is used to sign the cross on the foreheads of the penitents.
Baptism a sacramental practise which involves a formal ceremony of immersion in water, or pouring of water, by which people become members of the church with a public profession of their faith.
Bill draft legislation which Synod is asked to consider.
Bishop Symbolically seen as a shepherd who cares for and holds together a diverse range of people in God's church. A Diocesan Bishop is expected to give an oversight to the church, both in spiritual matters and in the administrative affairs of the Diocese.
Bishop's Chair the place in a Cathedral where the Bishop sits, or the special chair in the Sanctuary of a church where the Bishop sits when he visits.
Canon applies to a person, ordained or lay, who is either appointed to serve in a cathedral; or who has the title "Canon" bestowed upon retirement for outstanding service to the church and Diocese; also, a canon is a law of the General Synod.
Cassock a full length garment covering the body down to the ankles, usually black, worn by Christian priests.
Catechism instruction by a series of questions and answers, especially a book containing such instruction on the religious doctrine of a Christian church.
Cathedral the mother church of the Diocese, and which represents the ecclesiastical authority of the Bishop. The Cathedral is under the day to day care of the Dean.
Catholic meaning world-wide or universal (spelt with a small "c"); or, refers to the Roman Catholic church (capitalised "C").
Chancel an area set apart from the nave which is used by the minister leading the service, and sometimes used by the choir.
Chancellor the official legal advisor to the Bishop. The Chancellor has a seat in Synod with the right to speak and vote.
Chaplain a person, lay or ordained, appointed to bring church work to a specialist area or group eg. armed forces, hospitals, schools, prisons.
Chaplaincy a specialist area of church work to which a Chaplain is appointed. The most common are school, university, hospital, prison and military chaplaincies.
Christmas the season when the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated.
Church Council (see Vestry)
Clergy someone ordained as priest or deacon.
Communion (see Eucharist)
Confirmation the act of the Bishop by the laying on of hands with prayer, upon a candidate, who publically declares their faith and commitment to Christian service in response to their baptism.
Congregation the participating members of the church.
Consecration a formal ceremony carried out by (fellow) Bishops through which God's blessing empowers the candidate(s) for the special role of serving as a Bishop.
Deacon a person ordained to serve, either permanently or as a step to the priesthood.
Dean the priest in charge of the Cathedral, under the Bishop, and supported by the Canons.
Diocese a geographical area defined by General Synod and under the jurisdiction of a Bishop. E.g. the Diocese of Wellington stretches to the summit of Mt Ruapehu and includes Wanganui, the Rangitikei, Manawatu, Horowhenua and Wairarapa as well as the Wellington metropolitan area.
Easter the season commemorating the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Easter Sunday the day Christ's followers found His tomb empty; hence it is the day the resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated.
Epiphany means "manifestation" or "showing forth". Associated with the showing of Christ to the Gentile world in the persons of the Wise Men.
Episcopal The work of overseeing the Church.
Eucharist means "thanksgiving". A symbolic meal of bread and wine following the example of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples before His death by crucifixion.
General Synod The chief legislative body of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia with representatives from each Diocese voting in 'Houses' of Bishops, Clergy and Laity to enact its business.
Good Friday The day of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is known as "Good" because on that day Christ achieved the salvation of the human race.
Holy Week a week of special commemoration and devotion to the passion of Jesus Christ preceding His crucifixion and death.
Installation the appointment of a priest to a new position of responsibility in a parish or Diocese.
Interregnum the period of vacancy (usually in a parish) of the office of Vicar until a successor is duly appointed.
Last Supper The last meal which Jesus shared with his close followers (disciples) before His crucifixion and death on the cross.
Lay A church member who is not ordained, but who seeks to serve both God and other people in some way.
Lectionary A booklet providing (cyclical) information to plan a Eucharist or other services, and including bible readings for Daily Offices.
Lectern the stand for the bible, in wood or metal, and sometimes ornately carved.
Lent a period of 40 days leading up to Easter following the journey of Christ from the wilderness to the cross, and sharing the lessons of Christ's temptation, conflicts and sufferings.
Licence written legal authority from the Bishop to exercise a particular ecclesiastical office or function in a ministry unit, or across the Diocese Lord's Supper (see Eucharist).
Management Committee This Committee (formerly known as the Standing Committee) is responsible for the orderly management and administration of the affairs of the Diocese.
Maundy Thursday The name derives from the mandatum novum – the new commandment to love one another – given to His disciples at the Last Supper by Christ in the night in which He was betrayed and on the day before He was crucified. In this way the Eucharist was instituted in the Christian church. The ceremony of the washing of feet, the blessing of the Holy Oils in the cathedral church, and the reaffirmation of vows by the clergy are customs that can take place on Maundy Thursday.
Ministry any distinct area of work in the church undertaken by an individual or a group of people in service to the church.
Ministry Unit any distinct area where work is carried out in the name of the church, including parishes but also chaplaincies, the City Mission and some other institutions.
Mission Council a group of people elected to prioritise, shape, and direct the mission of the church as a whole in the Diocese.
Mitre the head-dress worn by a Bishop.
Narthex the porch entrance area in a church building.
Nave the main body of a church building where the congregation sits.
Ordination (ordained) a sacramental practise carried out by a Bishop(s) which involves a formal ceremony through which God's blessing empowers the candidate(s) for the special role of serving as a deacon, or priest.
Palm Sunday The Sunday before Easter Sunday commemorating the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem riding an unbroken colt. As Christ rode along people strewed branches of palm in His path. Palm crosses are blessed and distributed this day.
Parish a subdivision or district of the Diocese (E.g. Island Bay or Levin) under the care of a priest.
Passover Jewish festival to celebrate the exodus of the enslaved Hebrew people from Egypt. The Lord "passed over" the houses marked with the blood of a lamb but the first born of Egypt who lived in any unmarked house died.
Pentecost the day on which the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, sometimes called the birth day of the Christian church. Also the Greek name for the Feast of Weeks, the Jewish feast of the first fruits of the corn harvest which fell 50 days after the Passover.
Permission to Officiate authority given by the Bishop for a clergy person to take services within a particular ministry unit, or across the Diocese.
Pew seating for the congregation, one of several long bench-like seats with backs.
Prayer is an active effort to communicate with God either to offer praise, to make a request, seek guidance, confess sins, or simply to express one's thoughts and emotions. The words of the prayer may either be a set hymn or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person's own words.
Prayer Book primary guide for worship in the Anglican Church.
Priest a person ordained by the Bishop, after training, to minister to the members of the church, and to any others who are in need.
Pulpit a specific area set aside at the front of the church building for the preacher or the reader of the bible to deliver a presentation.
Reverend a general title for priests and deacons.
Sacrament a formal ceremony in which outward and visible signs are offered to accompany the giving of God's grace (which is recognised as an inward and invisible action of blessing and empowering by God upon the life of the person receiving the sacrament).
Sanctuary the area set apart for the principal altar in the church.
Sanctuary Rail the place where the congregation can receive Communion.
Shrove Tuesday The day before the Lenten period begins when pancakes are made and eaten as a symbolic prelude to fasting and penitence during the season of Lent.
Standing Orders rules adopted by Synod to govern its procedure.
Statute an act of General Synod.
Stole a long narrow garment hanging around the neck and extending down to the knees. It is worn at the Eucharist. A 'set' of stoles are in the colours white, purple, red, green, and black, each indicating the church season eg. red for a Saints' Day or black for a funeral, etc.
Surplice loose full-sleeved white gown worn over a cassock, of varying length.
Synod Synod is the chief legislative body of the Diocese and in some ways is similar to an Annual General Meeting of the Diocese. Synod sets the rules of the life of the diocese and the parishes. Synod is made up of clerical and lay representatives from each parish and ministry unit in the Diocese.
Tikanga used to describe a cultural grouping or strand within the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. There are three tikanga -Tikanga Maori, Tikanga Pakeha and Tikanga Pasifika (ie. Polynesia/Pacific Islands).
Trinity the Godhead where there is one God in three Persons or three Persons in one God, such that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father is Creator of the world, the Son is Jesus the Redeemer of the world, and the Holy Spirit is the Giver of life, one God yet three Persons.
Vicar General acts, with delegated authority, on behalf of the Bishop in their absence from the diocese, in all administrative duties associated with the Office of Bishop.
Vicar an ordained person (priest) appointed by the Bishop to act 'vicariously' in ministering to others, usually attached to a parish.
Vestments robes worn by those leading worship.
Vestry A group of people elected to manage the administrative affairs of a parish, or other subdivision of the Diocese. Also, a room where people prepare and dress in their vestments for a service.



No reira waiho ko te aroha o Te Matua Kaha Rawa hei korowai mou.
May the love of Almighty God enfold you!