Ecclesiastical Glossary

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Each page contains all the entries for a single letter of the alphabet. Use the page controls at the bottom of each page to navigate: 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, 4=D, etc.


Laetare Latin ‘rejoice’. The title of the Fourth Sunday in Lent, from the first word of the Introit for the Day.

Lamb of God Prophetic title for Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, who died to pay for our sins.

Laudate Latin An instruction to the people to praise God; a traditional “shorthand” often used in Psalter schedules for the last three psalms appointed to the prayer office of Lauds as set out in the Rule of St. Benedict. The Laudate psalms are often spoken/sung together each day at Lauds (Morning Prayer) [Rule of St. Benedict]. The Laudate psalms are 148, 149, 150.

lectern A book stand, typically on the north side of the nave in the church building, where the Bible reading takes place.

Lection Latin lectio, ‘reading’. Lesson or lessons from the Holy Scriptures. A table of lessons for use in the Divine Service is called a Lectionary.

Lent Anglo Saxon lencten, ‘spring’. A season of forty weekdays (not including Sundays) before Easter used in the Church as a time of preparation and repentance devoted to the contemplation of our Lord’s Passion.

legem credendi lex statuat supplicand see lex orandi, lex credendi

Lesson A selection from Holy Scripture, read in the liturgy–usually the prayer offices.

lex orandi, lex credendi Latin, loosely: ‘the law of prayer is (or determines) the law of belief (or faith)’. Refers to the relationship between worship and belief, that how you worship is how you believe. “Lex orandi, lex credendi” is a shorthand version of the original Latin phrase, “Legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi.” A translation of that phrase is, “The law of praying establishes the law of believing.” The original phrase is even stronger than the more common, shortened version, the idea is that the way you pray and worship actually establishes what you believe.

Litany Greek litaneia, ‘prayer’. An ancient prayer form, primarily penitential in character, in which the people respond to supplications offered by the minister. Luther honored the Great Litany as the “best prayer on earth after the Lord’s Prayer.”

Liturgy Greek litourgia, ‘public work’ or ‘public service’. In general, the prescribed forms of the public worship in the Church.

Lord’s Prayer

Lord’s Supper Another name for the Sacrament of the Altar; see Sacrament of the Altar.

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