Common Terms used in the Church ( a-b   c-d   e-h   i-m   n-p   q-z )

Gestures and postures during mass



These are short statements of praise, spoken (or, preferably, sung) by the people at Mass, Examples of acclamations are the Alleluia Verse before the Gospel, the Holy, Holy, and the Acclamation of Faith after the Consecration.

Acts of the Apostles

One of the books of the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles tells the story of the first thirty years of the Church following the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was written by St. Luke, the author of one of the four Gospels.

Altar of Repose

This is where the Blessed Sacrament is placed after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening. This altar, prepared in a chapel, is decorated with fresh flowers and candles to make it as beautiful as possible.


A solemn statement of agreement, meaning ‘truly’, ‘it is so’, Amen is used at the end of prayers. The solemn ‘Amen’ at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer is known as the ‘Great Amen’.


A short verse, usually from Scripture, the Antiphon is sung before and between the verses of a psalm.


‘Apostle’ comes from the Greek word, ‘to send’. In the New Testament, the term is most often used to refer to those whom Jesus sent to continue his mission on earth. St. Luke, in particular refers to the twelve individually named disciples of Jesus as ‘the apostles’.


The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are obtained by burning the palms left over from the previous Palm Sunday.

Blessed Sacrament

The consecrated bread which has become the Body of Christ during the celebration of the Eucharist is referred to as the Blessed Sacrament.


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