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

Gestures and postures during mass



The cantor is the one who leads the singing during worship.

Chosen People

This term refers to the Jewish people, called in a special way by God through Abraham, and later through Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and the prophets. Christians regard themselves as the Chosen People of the New Covenant.


‘Christ’ comes from the Greek word Christos, the ‘Anointed One’. See ‘Messiah’.


Clergy are those who are ordained deacons, priests or bishops.


To consecrate means to set apart for a sacred purpose either a person or an object.


In the context of the Mass, consecration refers to the changing of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.


The term used to describe the relationship between God and the Chosen People is covenant. It is a treaty or agreement in which both God and the people promise to be faithful to each other.


When used in the New Testament, this word generally means a minister or servant of Christ. By the end of the second century, this role had become more specific, and the deacon was the bishop’s assistant. Nowadays there are two types of deacon.
1 -Those who are in the final stages of preparing to be ordained to the priesthood, or
2 -Those who are ordained to serve the community in particular ways:
- by assisting the bishop and/or priest at Eucharist,
- by making intercessions and offering petitions for the people,
- by presiding at certain liturgical celebrations when the priest or bishop cannot be present,
- by administering baptism and officiating at marriages and funeral services,
- by proclaiming and preaching the Word of God,
- by blessing objects and persons within liturgical celebrations.
These are called permanent deacons.


The geographical area governed by a bishop is called a diocese.


A disciple is anyone who learns from and follows a particular teacher. In the New Testament, the followers of Jesus are called his disciples, because they left everything to be with Jesus and to live the same way that he did. Today, we can be disciples if we pattern or model our lives on the life and ministry of Jesus.


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