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.


General Prayer An all-embracing prayer (e.g. The Prayer of the Church) of adoration, supplication, and intercession for all things, and for all sorts and conditions of men.

Gloria in Excelsis Latin ‘Glory to God in the highest’. The ‘Greater Gloria’, the ‘Greater Doxology’. A Hymn of Praise in the Divine Service; An ancient expansion of the angel’s song announcing the Nativity to the shepherds (see Luke 2:14).

Gloria Patri Latin ‘glory [be] to the Father’. The ‘Lesser Gloria’, the ‘Lesser Doxology’. A liturgical text used to conclude a psalm or psalm passage to distinguish the Christian use of the Old Testament portion. It is also used after most of the Canticles.

glorify Give honor to.

glory The majesty and power revealed by God; worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving to God for His magnificence.

god Anything we worship or place first in our lives that interferes with our love of the true God; an idol.

God The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the one Supreme Being, perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness; Creator and Ruler of the universe.

God’s Word The Holy Scriptures; the inspired revelation of God’s plan and record of salvation.

Good Friday The day commemorating the death of Christ on the cross. ‘Good’ in the Old English sense of ‘Holy”.

Gospel Old English god-spell,  ‘good message’, ‘good tidings’, ‘a good report’. The Good News of God’s gracious love in Christ for the redemption of the world; the first four books of the New Testament. In the Divine Service, see Holy Gospel.

Gradual Latin ‘step’. Originally sung from the step of the ambo (from which lessons were traditionally read), it is a portion of a Psalm sung as a liturgical response to the reading of the Old Testament.

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