Absolution: Only a bishop or priest of can pronounce God’s forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. Absolution may be pronounced following private Confession of sins or a general Confession of sin in the Holy Eucharist, the Daily Offices, the Ash Wednesday service, or the Penitential Order. The BCP provides that a deacon or layperson may make a “Declaration of Forgiveness” by God of the penitent’s sins after private Confession and that a deacon or layperson may pray for God’s forgiveness following the general Confession in the Daily Offices.

Canon:  has several different meanings in the church.  The canon of scripture is the list of inspired books recognized by the church to constitute the Holy Scriptures.  Canons are also the written rules enacted by the General Convention that govern the church and can only be enacted, amended, or repealed by concurrent resolution of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops at General Convention. A canon may also be an Ecclesiastical Title for clergy on the staff of a cathedral or diocese.

Sacrament: A sacred and symbolic ritual or ceremony in many Christian traditions intended to convey divine grace, blessings, or spiritual significance to participants.  Sacraments generally involve physical elements or actions that stand for deeper spiritual realities. .Sacraments are believed to be channels of divine grace – God’s undeserved favor and power bestowed upon believers – and were instituted by Jesus, either explicitly or through his actions and teachings. The Episcopal Church recognizes seven Holy Sacraments.

Confession –  the Reconciliation of a Penitent – is the rite in which those who repent of their sins confess them to God in the presence of a priest and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of Absolution.  A general Confession is said at most worship services and is followed by the assurance of Absolution pronounced by a priest or a bishop. Personal, private, confidential Confession can be arranged any time and any place with a priest.

Collect is simply a prayer meant to gather the intentions of the people and the focus of worship into a succinct prayer.  Collects generally fit a pattern that Archbishop Thomas Cranmer developed in the first Book of Common Prayer (1549): An address to God, a Request, an invocation and Doxology, and finally, the Amen. 

Creeds: A religious creed -from the Latin word “credo,” meaning “I believe” – is a concise statement of beliefs shared by a particular religious community. It serves as a summary of core tenets and acts as a unifying element for the group. Most creeds are relatively short and written in clear, concise language to express the fundamental truths and doctrines essential to a specific faith. They are not exhaustive accounts of theology but building blocks upon which the religion rests.

Doxology: A general term for any hymn or prayer of praise to God. This broader definition encompasses a wide range of texts, from short exclamations like “Glory be to God!” to elaborate formal hymns. The most well-known Doxology in Christian traditions is theGloria in Excelsis Deo” (Glory to God in the highest), traditionally sung or recited during Christian worship services, often at the beginning or end.

Fractious Anthem: The anthem at the fraction, sometimes called the confractorium, a term borrowed from the Ambrosian rite. The BCP prints two anthems but permits others. Rite 1 prints both Pascha nostrum (Christ our Passover) (adapted from a similar anthem in the 1549 Prayer Book) and Agnus Dei (O Lamb of God). It allows either or both or another suitable anthem. Rite 2 prints only “Christ our Passover” (BCP, p. 364). Another suitable anthem may be used in place of or in addition to the printed one. The BOS gives fifteen anthems for various seasons and occasions. Several of these anthems are set to music in The Hymnal 1982. The “confractoria” may be said or sung, responsively or in unison. In many places the choir or a cantor sings the anthem, sometimes responsively with the people, while the presider breaks the bread.

Lectionary: A three-year cycle of Scripture readings used in worship services within the Episcopal Church. The Lectionary provides Old Testament, an Epistle, a Gospel, and a Psalm reading for each Sunday and optional scripture readings for every day of the year.

Sanctus: From the Latin for “holy,” a hymn of adoration and praise which begins, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts.” It typically follows the preface in the eucharistic prayer and is sung or said by the celebrant and people. The Sanctus is based on the song of the seraphim as recorded in Isaiah’s vision of the Lord in the year King Uzziah died (Isaiah 6:1-3). The Sanctus has been accompanied by bells since the fifteenth century in some places.