Anglican Dictionary: G

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From the Latin words genu, meaning “knee,” and flectere, meaning “to bend.” A genuflection is a sort of deep curtsey where the right knee touches the ground. The appropriate times for genuflection (if you do it at all) are when passing before the Reserved Sacrament, when entering or leaving your pew when the consecrated bread and wine are on the altar, and in the Nicene Creed at the words, “who for us and our salvation.”  Most common in high church traditions.



SEE: Cincture.


Godfathers and godmothers, persons who sponsor an infant or young child at his or her baptism. Godparents make vows that they will, by their example, help the child know what it means to be a Christian, so that later in his or her life the child can confirm that fact for himself or herself at Confirmation.

Good Friday

(Liturgical color is usually black or purple).The day in Holy Week in which we remember Christ’s arrest, crucifixion, and death. It is unclear where the name “Good Friday” originated. Some have said it is a corruption of “God’s Friday,” in the same manner that “Commandment Thursday” became “Maundy Thursday.” Others insist it is called “Good” because of the great benefits given to humanity by Christ’s death and resurrection.

Gospel Side

An older usage for designating the interior of a church. The gospel side is on the right-hand side of the priest, as determined by where he/she is facing when celebrating the Holy Communion. The Gospel side is thus dependant on whether the altar is located against the wall or free-standing. Originally, the priest celebrated communion facing the people and thus the Gospel Side was the north side of the Church building [the left side, when facing the altar]. In medieval times the altar was pushed against the west wall, and the Gospel side then became the right side, when facing the altar.


ALSO SEE: Epistle Side.

Gospel, The

Any reading from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. We stand for the gospel reading in the Eucharist, to show reverence for Jesus, since he is speaking to us when the gospel is read. Sometimes there is a procession to the center of the nave for this reading. This is traditionally an office of the deacon or of clergy acting as deacon in the service.



SEE: Retable

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