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

Gestures and postures during mass


Ordination is the ceremony during which a person is made a deacon, priest or bishop, through the sacrament of Holy Orders.


Paschal comes from pascha, meaning ‘Easter’.

Paschal Mystery

The paschal mystery refers to the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Through Jesus, God delivers us all from the slavery of sin to the freedom of new life in Christ and puts us in touch with the boundless love of God, which we can never fully understand.


The Passover is the feast celebrated by Jewish families to commemorate the freeing of the Jewish people from the slavery of Egypt, 1300 years before Jesus was born. In Jesus’ time a lamb would be slain and its blood sprinkled over the doorposts of the house. That same night the meat would be roasted and eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Today, Jewish families still celebrate Passover with a special meal.


A short prayer, asking God to grant a particular desire of the community, is a petition.


The prayer of praise and thanksgiving that comes at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer is the Preface.


A priest is a man who, through the sacrament of Holy Orders, is called to a particular form of ministry:
- to proclaim the Gospel, to build up the Christian community.
- to lead the community in worship by presiding at Eucharist,
- to celebrate the other sacraments.
The priests of a diocese work in collaboration with their bishop in order to serve the local church community.


See Lectern


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