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Luther's Coat of Arms

Rose

In 1530, while Martin Luther was still living in Coburg Castle, Prince John Frederick ordered a signet ring for him that was characteristic of Luther's theology.

The black cross on a heart (faith in Christ who died and rose again) rests on a white rose (joy, comfort, and peace beyond that of this world) in a sky-blue field (the beginning of a heavenly joy), and is encircled with a gold ring (the eternal and precious possession of salvation).

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Glossary

Absolution:
The part of Confession and Forgiveness where the pastor tells you that you are forgiven.

Advent:
Means "a coming or an arrival." The four Sundays before Christmas.

Altar:
A name that is often used for the communion table.

Assembly:
Alternate term for Convention.

Assisting minister:
A layperson who helps to lead worship.

Benevolence:
Money contributed to the synod and the national church to support their mission.

Bishop:
The senior elected official of the synods and of the ELCIC; must be ordained.

Call:
The official invitation by a congregation or an organization for a minister to serve as bishop, pastor or diaconal minister.

Catechism:
A summary of the important teachings in our religion that is set out in question and answer form to help people learn these things.

Catholic:
This word means universal. With a small "c" it means the whole church. With a capital "C" it refers to the Roman Catholic part of the church catholic.

Chalice:
The cup used in Holy Communion for the wine.

Chancel:
The altar area of a church.

Chant:
A liturgical song, sometimes a greeting or a prayer, usually sung without a musical instrument.

Confession:
1) A special rite, private or public, in which a person admits the wrong things of which they are guilty and receives forgiveness.
2) A statement or summary that bear witness to what the church believes and teaches.

Conference:
A geographic grouping of congregations within a synod.

Congregation:
A group of baptized Lutherans who are formally organized and officially recognized by the Lutheran church.

Convention:
The highest legislative body of the synods and the national church. Sometimes called an Assembly.

Diaconal minister:
A person who has been consecrated by the church for a specialized ministry; sometimes referred to as a ministry of Word and Service.

Easter:
A season in the Church Year when the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is specially celebrated. The Easter season has seven Sundays. However, every Sunday is considered "a little Easter."

Epiphany:
Means "an appearance or a manifestation." A festival celebrated on January 6 as well as the season in the Church Year that follows January 6.

Eucharist:
A word that means "thanksgiving" that is sometimes used as a name for Holy Communion.

Font:
The piece of furniture that holds the water for baptisms.

Intern:
A seminarian who is serving in a parish under as pastor's supervision so that he or she can gain some practical experience.

Lent:
A season in the Church Year lasting the six weeks before Easter.

Ministerial:
An organization of ministers. Sometimes it is also called a ministerium.

Narthex:
The entrance to the worship space.

Nave:
The part of the church between the chancel and the narthex where the congregation sits.

Pall:
A large cloth usually decorated with a cross, and sometimes with other Christian symbols, which is used to cover the casket at a funeral service.

Parish:
A group of congregations served by the same pastor or pastors.

Parishioner:
A member of a congregation.

Pastor:
The term usually used by Lutherans for their clergy; a person who has been ordained by the church for a ministry of Word and Sacrament.

Pentecost:
The birthday of the Church. Also the name of the last season in the Church Year when the Sundays are numbered as Sundays after Pentecost.

Pulpit:
The reading desk where the pastor often stands to preach the sermon or to read from the Bible.

Synod:
A major geographic grouping of congregations with a bishop at its head.


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