Catholic Words

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Catholic Words

Absolution: A statement made by an ordained priest declaring forgiveness of sins to a repentant sinner in the sacrament of reconciliation.

Alb: Full length white linen vestment used at Mass fashioned after the under tunic of the Greeks and Romans of the fourth century.

Annulment: An official church declaration that what appeared to be a Christian marriage never existed in the first place.

Baptism: The sacrament of initiation that makes a person a child of God and an heir to God’s promises of eternal salvation.

Cannon: Official list of the books of the Bible. Catholics list forty-six Old Testament books and twenty-seven New Testament books.

Cannon Law: The code of church laws governing the Catholic community.

Catechist: A Religious Education teacher.

Catechesis: The process of religious instruction and formation in the major elements of the Christian faith.

Catechumen: Those who are receiving instruction in the faith before baptism and admission of converts to the Catholic Church.

Ciborium: A vessel used to contain the Blessed Sacrament.

Consubstantial: Of the same substance. Christ is consubstantial with the Father

Convalidation: Marriage of a couple who were previously married outside of the Catholic Church. It is not a blessing the original marriage but the couple is considered by the church as being married for the first time.

Covenant: The contract of love God made with the Israelites and all people in the person of Jesus Christ.

Creed: Formal statement of faith.

Dogma: A church teaching issued with the highest authority; a core teaching of the church.

Encyclical: A papal letter written on some important issue and circulated throughout the worldwide church.

Eucharist: The host, once it has been consecrated by the priest, in which Jesus Christ is truly present.

Gospel: The “good news” preached by Jesus.

Liturgy: The official public worship of the church.

Liturgy of the hours: The official daily prayer of the church for certain times of the day.

Magisterium: The official teaching authority of the church.

Narthex: Vestibule

Pall: Cloth covering placed over a casket during a funeral Mass.

Paschal Mystery: God’s love and salvation revealed to us through the life, passion, death, and resurrection and glorification of his Son Jesus Christ.

Paten: A saucer like dish usually gold plated, large enough to cover the chalice, and holds the host.

Priest: A ordained man who acts as a mediator between God and people.

Purgatory: Purification after death for those who die in God’s friendship, yet still need to be purified to attain holiness before entering heaven.

Pyx: Small round metal case, usually gold plated, used to carry a few hosts when visiting the sick.

Reconciliation: A sacrament of healing, also known as confession, through which Christ extends his forgiveness to sinners.

Sacrament: A visible sign by which Christ confers his grace. The seven sacraments are baptism, confirmation, eucharist, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, matrimony, and holy orders.

Sacramentals: Sacred signs that resemble the sacraments and prepare a person to receive them.

Sacristy: A room in the church where the clergy put on their vestments. It is also where the challises, vestments and other items needed for Mass are kept.

Synod: An assembly of the clergy to discuss and decide matters of faith, morals or discipline.

Tabernacle: The holy receptacle in which the Blessed Sacrament is housed.

Trinity: The Christian dogma that holds that there are three persons in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Vestibule: Area between the outer door and the interior of a building.

Vicariate: A territory within a diocese of the Catholic Church. The Archdiocese of Detroit is made up of 4 regions with 227 vicariates. Much like the United States is one territory with many states and the states have counties.