Anglican Dictionary: E

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(Liturgical color is white and/or gold or silver) The festival that commemorates the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the third day after he was crucified. It is called Easter Day in our prayer book, but has come to be called (redundantly) Easter Sunday by the media, most laity, and some clergy, all of whom ought to know better. Easter is a movable feast, which means it does not always fall on the same day each year. Easter is always the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox (first day of Spring). By this calculation, Easter could occur anytime from March 22, to April 25. The length of Epiphany and the Season after Pentecost, as well as the dates of Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Ascension Day, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday are all determined by the date of Easter. Easter is also a Church season, spanning the 50 days (six Sundays) after Easter, to Ascension Day.


The bread and wine of Holy Communion.


January 6; a feast celebrating the visit of the Wise Men to the infant Jesus. Epiphany marks the end of the twelve days of Christmas (the Christmas season). Epiphany is also one of the seasons of the Church, running from the end of Christmas to Ash Wednesday.


The name of a form of church organization which means government by an overseer. From the Greek word episcopos, meaning overseer.

ALSO SEE: Bishop.

Epistle Side

The side of the building from which the Epistle lesson is read. The side depends on whether the altar is located against a wall or free standing, meaning the priest celebrates the Eucharist from behind it. If the altar is against the wall, the Epistle side is the left side of the church building when one is facing the altar.

ALSO SEE: Gospel Side.

Epistle, The

Usually (but not always) included in a Sunday service, the epistle is a reading from one of the New Testament books other than the Gospels. The epistle and the Old Testament lessons are typically read by a Lay reader.


Literally means a “good gift” or “thanksgiving.” The current usage in some Anglican Churches that refers to the entire Communion service. According to many prayer books, the Eucharist is intended to be the principal service on a Sunday.


A speech or homily in praise of a deceased person; brief remarks about the deceased at a funeral. Traditionally, a eulogy was simply not done in some Anglican Churches. In recent times the practice has gained favor in some circles.

Even, or Eve

The day before a Festival (Christmas Eve, Easter Even), designed to be a preparation for the feast it precedes.


An evening worship service; evening prayer; and especially evening prayer service featuring a choir. A very rich and distinctive part of the Anglican musical tradition.


A pitcher most often used to water at baptisms, but can also be used in place of a cruet or a flagon at Communion.

Executive Committee

In many parishes, the rectors, wardens and the parish treasurer form an executive committee. They meet separately from the whole vestry, between official vestry meetings.

Executive Council

Sometimes an Archbishop’s version of an executive committee, consisting of appointed friends and the elected president of each province.

Extreme Unction

The anointing with oil of those who are close to death.

ALSO SEE: Unction

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