Aceldama. The field of blood (Acts i. 19).
Acolyte. A server in church : one who ministers to the priest.
Act of God. An event beyond human control.
Adultery. Unfaithfulness to the marriage vow.
Advent. The coming of Jesus Christ upon earth : His second coming. Solemn season before Christmas.
Advocate. One who pleads a cause—used of Jesus Christ as the "Advocate " for sinners.
Advowson. Right of presentation to a Church living.
Affusion. The pouring on of water (in Holy Baptism).
Agape. An early Christian feast associated with the Holy Communion.
Agnostic. One who rejects any knowledge beyond the teaching of nature or experience.
Agnus Dei (Latin). " Lamb of God."
Aisle. A division of a church on either side of the nave.
Alb. A long white vestment worn by the priest at the Holy Eucharist.
Alleluia. From the Hebrew words meaning " Praise the Lord."
All Hallows. All Saints' Day, November 1st.
All Souls' Day. November 2nd. Commemoration of the Faithful Departed.
Alma Mater. Fostering mother. A phrase applied by a student to his school or university.
Alms. Originally money or gifts in kind for the poor ; now extended to mean gifts for any religious or charitable purpose.
Alpha and Omega. The beginning and end. The first and last letters in the Greek alphabet (Rev. i. 8).
Altar. The Communion table of wood, stone, marble, or alabaster.
Amen. A Hebrew word asserting assent to a de-claration or an act of devotion.
Amice. A vestment worn on his shoulders by the priest at the Eucharist.
Anathema. A solemn curse ; a sentence of excommunication.
Anchorite. A hermit confined to a solitary cell.
Angel. A spiritual being ; a messenger from heaven. Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Vir-tues, P owers, Principalities, Archangels, Angels are called the Nine Choirs of Angels.
Angelus. The Ave Maria (" Hail, Mary "), and other prayers. A devotion said at morning, noon, and sunset, so called from its opening words, " The angel of the Lord."
Anglican. Belonging to the English Church.
Anglican Chant. A tune set to the unmetrical verses of the Psalms and Canticles.
Annunciation. The festival of Lady Day (March 25th), celebrating the visit of the Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary (S. Luke i. 26).
Anoint. To consecrate with oil—as at the Corona-tion.
Anthem. Originally antiphon short pieces of plainsong sung before the Psalms. The modern anthem is a passage of Scripture or sacred poetry set to music.
Antichrist. The adversary of Christ : aperson or spirit who opposes God, persecutes the Church, or leads Christians astray.
Antiphon. The original form of the word " an-them."
Apocalypse. A revelation ; the name of the last book in the Bible.
Apocrypha. Books of uncertain authority, printed . in Holy Scripture between the Old and New Testament.
Apologist. In Christianity, one who defends the Gospel, and the doctrines of the Church.
Apostasy. Forsaking religious principles.
Apostle. From a Greek word signifying " sent." The essential qualification of an Apostle was that he had seen the Lord.
Apostles' Creed. The oldest form of Christian Creed ; used always at Baptism and at Morning and Evening Prayer.
Apostolic Fathers. Christian writers born during the life of the Apostles.
Apparel. The embroidered adornment of an alb or amice.
Apse. Apse. A semicircular or polygonal termination to the choir or aisles of a church. Archangel. See ANGEL.
Archbishop. The chief bishop of a province.
Archdeacon. The chief ecclesiastical officer of a bishop.
Arches, Court of. The Court of Appeal of the Province of Canterbury.
Articles, The Thirtyanine. A summary of doc-trine attached to the English Prayer Book.
Ascension Day. The commemoration of the Ascension of Jesus Christ—always a Thursday, the fortieth day after Easter.
Ascetic. A person of self-denying life, living by rigid rule.
Ash Wednesday. The first day of Lent.
Assembly, Church. The meeting of clerical and lay representatives of the Church of England under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Its functions are to prepare agreed legisla-tion for presentation to Parliament and the royal assent.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A feast of the Roman Church, August 15th ; the Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Athanasian Creed. The Creed beginning "Who-soever will be saved." It states in lucid form the Christian doctrines of the Blessed Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Atheist. One who denies the existence of God.
Aumbry. A recess in a church in which the sacred vessels are kept ; sometimes used for the reserva-tion of the Blessed Sacrament.
Aureole. The representation in art of a circle of light around the head of a saint.
Auricular Confession. Confession of sins privately in the presence of a priest.
Authorized Version. The translation of the Bible published by order of King James I in 1611.
Auto - da - fé. The public execution of heretics.
Ave Maria. See ANGELUS.