Dictionary

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Advent

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

‘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.

Deacon

‘Deacon’ comes the Greek word for ‘servant’. Deacons in the Church in Wales have special roles within worship such as proclaiming the gospel. Traditionally, deacons have had responsibility for social care. Deacons often go on to be ordained priest.

Diocese

‘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’).

Eucharist

‘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.

Ordain

To be ordained is to be set apart, empowered by the Holy Spirit and authorised by the Church for a particular type of ministry. The Church in Wales has three ‘orders’ of ministry, namely deacon, priest and bishop.

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

‘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.

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