Liturgy LinesReturn to Liturgy Lines
More Liturgical Terminology
More Liturgical Terminology
Here are some more liturgical terms that I was asked to explain at a recent workshop:
Ambo: a raised platform from which the scriptures are read. It is usually combined with a lectern for holding the book.
Anamnesis: comes from the Greek meaning “not to forget”. In the Mass it has the meaning of memorial (Do this in memory of me) and refers to that part of the Eucharistic Prayer which begins with the Memorial Acclamation and recalls especially Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension.
Cathedra: the bishop’s chair or throne, a sign of his leadership of the local Church. It is from this word the church containing the official seat of the bishop of the diocese came to be called “cathedral”.
Doxology: the giving of praise and glory to the persons of the Trinity. The Gloria and Glory be are doxologies.
Epiclesis: means invocation. It refers to the calling down of the Holy Spirit upon the bread and wine and upon the assembled people during the Eucharistic Prayer. The Holy Spirit is also invoked in other sacramental and blessing rites.
Institution Narrative: that part of the Eucharistic Prayer which relates Jesus’ words and actions at the last Supper. It testifies to the transformation of the gifts into the Christ’s Body and Blood.
The Ordinary of the Mass or the Order of Mass: those common Mass texts which do not change from week to week or season to season, for example the Lord’s Prayer and Holy, Holy.
The Proper of the Mass: those texts that change according to the day of the liturgical calendar on which Mass is celebrated, for example the Collect (Opening Prayer).
Ordo: comes from the Latin meaning “order”; usually refers to a detailed liturgical calendar showing which liturgical celebration falls on each day of the year and what texts are to be used for Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.
Preface: the introductory part of the Eucharistic Prayer consisting of an opening dialogue, praise for God’s work and concluding with the Holy, Holy. It varies according to the season or celebration. There are more than ninety Prefaces in the current Missal.
Pyx: a small container used for carrying the Blessed Sacrament to the sick. The term is also used for the vessel in which the large host for exposition is kept in the tabernacle.
Thurible or Censer: a metal vessel for burning incense. It is usually suspended on a chain so that it can be carried during the procession and swung during the incensation.
Ritual Masses are those Mass texts that are used in celebrating the rites of the sacraments such as confirmation and marriage when they take place during Mass.
Votive Mass: a Mass whose proper (variable) parts are not based on the calendar for the liturgical year but on a special occasion, devotion or object. There are fifteen Votive Masses in the Roman Missal including Masses for the Trinity, Holy Cross, Sacred Heart and Mary.
Viaticum: Latin for “provision for a journey”; the term for Holy Communion given to those who are dying to strengthen them for their journey to eternity.