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AMPULLA – This vessel holds consecrated oil. It is used in baptism, confirmation, coronation, holy orders and extreme unction.

ANALOGIUM – This is a reading desk.

Any form of responsive communication such as reading, singing or chanting done during a church service.

ASPERGES – Based on Psalms 51:7, this act of sprinkling holy water can be used for cleansing the altar or for exorcising evil spirits from people.

This vessel contains holy water. The aspergillum (a special brush designed for holding water) is dipped into this container during the act of asperges.

BELLS – Bells are used for a variety of purposes. 1. The ringing of the bell before the beginning of the service calls the faithful to worship. 2. In Catholic churches, the ringing of the Sanctus bell represents the coming of Christ in Communion. 3. A bell can be used to call the faithful to prayer. 4. Tapping a bell (knelling) signifies the passing of a person’s soul into the next life.

BIRETTA – The biretta is a stiff hat with three or four ridges. If the biretta is black, it signifies that the wearer is a priest. If it is purple, the clergy is a bishop; and, if red, the person is a cardinal


BISHOP – “This word is derived from the Greek and means ‘overseer.’ A bishop is a clergyman who has
been consecrated or ordained as a chief pastor, and usually appointed or elected to serve as the spiritual head and business administrator of a designated diocese, district or area of his church. In the Anglican church and related bodies, ordination as a bishop elevates a clergyman to a third order, ranking above priests and deacons. The Presbyterian churches have
only one ministerial order, that of presbyter or elder. In the Roman Catholic church, a bishop is a priest consecrated and given authority to administer the sacraments of Ordination and Confirmation. His orders are not higher than those of a priest, but the powers which he can exercise are more extensive. In line with John Wesley’s opinions about primitive Christian orders, American Methodists regard the bishopric as an office and not an order. In the past, they have used both ‘ordain’ and ‘consecrate’ with reference to the ceremony of setting a minister apart for the work of the episcopacy. Apparently, the distinction between bishop and presbyter was not sharply drawn in sub-apostolic times.”1

CANDLE – 1. Candles play an extensive and often varied role in the church. One single candle can represent Jesus, who is the light of the world. This is based on John 8:12. Two candles on the altar can also signify this. 2. Three candles, in a variety of holders, can symbolize the Trinity. 3. In various liturgical traditions, seven candles can symbolize the seven sacraments. 4. A candle can symbolize prayer and

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© 2016 By Doug Gray. All Rights Reserved.