Terminology - Glossary E

Term Definition

EMMANUEL – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isa 7:14


ENCYCLICAL – (Gr. “moving in a circle”; “circulating”). A letter by the head of an Orthodox jurisdiction (Archbishop or Patriarch) to those under his spiritual authority. The content of such a letter may vary but it must refer to specific administrative or spiritual topics concerning the faithful.


ENERGY – Used theologically, that which radiates from the hidden essence or nature of God. The energies of God, such as grace, are not created, and allow the believer to enter into a personal relationship with God while preserving the unique character of God, whose essence always remains hidden from humanity. Moses was permitted to… Read More


ENLIGHTENER OF – One of the various customary saint titles used in commemoration at divine services when remembering saints on the Church Calendar. Enlightener of N. or Illuminator of N.  The saint who first brought the faith to a people or region, or who did major work of evangelization there. Such as: St Nino (Nina),… Read More


ENSIGN – (an appellation or Title of Jesus)  “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.”Isa 11:10


ENTRANCE – The solemn procession of the celebrants of Divine Liturgy with the Holy Gospel from the front of the altar, around it and through the north door to the ambo and into the Sanctuary through the Royal Doors. This is the Lesser Entrance. The Great Entrance is made when the Holy Gifts are taken… Read More


ENTRANCE HYMN – (Entrance Verse) A brief hymn that accompanies the entrance of the clergy into the altar during the little entrance. At the Divine Liturgy on a day that is not a Great Feast, the Entrance Hymn consists of the verse “Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ,” followed by the refrain… Read More


ENTRANCE OF THE THEOTOKOS INTO THE TEMPLE -(Presentation in the Temple) One of three great feasts of the Theotokos is the celebration of her entrance as a child into the Jerusalem Temple which is commemorated on the twenty-first of November. Mary was brought as a small child to the temple by her parents in order… Read More


EOTHINA – Means ‘pertaining to the dawn’. It refers to the eleven Resurrectional Gospels (Post-Resurrectional appearances of Christ) done at Matins.


EPARCHY – (Gr. province) A diocese headed by a bishop.


EPHESIANS (Epistle of Apostle Paul to the Ephesians) – This letter was written while Paul was a prisoner (3:1; 4:1; 6:20) at about the same time as the Epistle to the Colossians, since it shares many of the same phrases and expressions as that Epistle. Because important early manuscripts and Church Fathers make no reference… Read More


EPHESUS – (Council of Ephesus) Name of the Third Ecumenical Council. It was held at Ephesus in the year 431.  Among its activities, it defined Christ as the Incarnate Word of God and Mary as Theotokos.


EPIGONATION – (Sl. Palitsa) A diamond shaped vestment worn on the right side by priest of higher rank and by bishop. The diamond-shaped sword or shield worn over the right hip. It is usually given as a sign of honor as well as to those authorized to hear confessions.


EPIKLESIS – (Epiclesis, Gr. invocation) Prayer that the Holy Ghost may come down upon the bread and wine and turn it into Christ’s body and blood.


EPIMANIKIA – The cuffs made of vestment material and ornamented with a cross. They are worn over the sleeves of the alb.


EPIPHANY?(Gr. manifestation) Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (Jan. 6). One of its main features is the blessing of water. This feast is also known as THEOPHANY., (Sl. Bogoyavleniye), manisfestation of God in the Holy Trinity?God the Father in the Voice that was heard: “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well… Read More


EPISCOPACY – The order of bishops in the Church (from Gr. episkopos, “overseer”). See also BISHOP.


EPISCOPATE – Collectively, the entire body of bishops.


EPISTLE – (Sl. Apostol) 1. Liturgical, A portion of the New Testament Scriptures read by the deacon or layman before the reading of the Gospel at Divine Liturgy. The book of the Epistles, or Apostle, contains the following books of the New Testament: the Acts of the Apostles, the Catholic or General epistles, and the… Read More


EPITAPHION – (Gr. tomb) An ornamented bier representing the tomb of our Lord. On Good Friday the Shroud (Sl. Plaschanitsa) is placed on the epitaphwn in the service of the Burial of our Lord. It is surrounded with flowers. In the evening the Shroud is carried in procession around the church and then placed again… Read More


EPITRAKHELION – (Gr. upon the neck) The part of the vestment that goes round the neck, joined in front.


EQUAL-TO-THE-APOSTLES – (or “Equal of the Apostles“)  One of the various customary saint titles used in commemoration at divine services when remembering saints on the Church Calendar.   One whose work greatly built up the Church, whether through direct missionary work or through assisting the Church’s place in society.  Such as: St Nino (Nina), Equal of… Read More


ESCHATOLOGY – The study of the last days (Gr. eschaton). According to the Holy Scriptures, Christ will come again at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, destroy the power of evil, and fully reveal the everlasting Kingdom (Matt. 25:3146; Rev. 20:10?21:1). See also SECOND COMING.


ESDRAS – One of the books known as the historical books of the Old Testament. This book (2nd Esdras in Russian Bibles) was written probably in the 2nd Century B.C. by an unknown Greek-speaking Jew, whose purpose was to emphasize the contributions of Josiah, Zerubbabel and Ezra to the reforms of Israelite worship. It basically… Read More