Words on this page
Advent means ‘coming’ and is the special four-week period leading up to Christmas. It is a time to prepare for the celebration of Jesus’s birth but also for his coming in glory at the end of time.
‘Bishop’ comes from the Greek word for ‘overseer’. So a bishop is a senior Christian minister authorised to have oversight for God’s people. As well as duties given to deacons and priests, bishops confirm and ordain.
‘Diocese’ refers to the geographical territory in which a bishop exercises oversight. The Church in Wales is divided into six dioceses each with its own cathedral in which is housed the cathedra (the bishop’s ‘chair’ or ‘throne’).
The Christian Church is divided due to different interpretations of the faith and different religious practices. The ecumenical movement promotes dialogue and understanding between Christians and works for visible unity.
‘Episcopal’ refers to the role or ministry of a bishop. So an episcopal church is one in which oversight is entrusted to a bishop. Like many others, the Church in Wales is an episcopal church.
‘Eucharist’ comes from the Greek word for ‘thanksgiving’. At the Eucharist the Church remembers Jesus’ last supper where he gave bread and wine to be his body and blood, a sign of his saving love. See also Holy Communion.
At Holy Communion blessed bread and wine is shared, by which we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The congregation gives thanks for Jesus’ life, his death and resurrection and his continuing presence. See also Eucharist.
Lent is the six-week period leading up to Easter. It is a particular time to confess sin and to seek personal and collective renewal (a ‘springtime of the spirit’). Lent has a special focus on Jesus’s journey to the cross and prepares the Church to celebrate his resurrection.
Liturgy is a set form of words and action used for worship. In the Church in Wales (and many other churches) these forms follow the same pattern from one congregation to another. Most Anglican liturgies look back in some way to the Book of Common Prayer.
Prayer sustains our human relationship with God and may involve words (formal or informal) or be silent. Prayer can involve adoration (‘I love you’), confession (‘sorry’), thanksgiving and supplication (‘please’).
‘Priest’ comes from the Greek word for ‘elder’. Priests in the Church in Wales are those authorised specifically to proclaim forgiveness of sins, preside at the Eucharist and bless God’s people, as well as other responsibilities.