Terminology - Glossary G

Term Definition

GETHSEMANE-The garden of Jerusalem where Christ suffered and was taken by the soldiers.


GHOST, HOLY – (Holy Spirit) The Third Person of the Holy Trinity, proceeding from the Father, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son.


GIFT OF GOD – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:10


GIFTS – Charismatic or spiritual gifts are blessings and abilities given by the Holy Spirit to believers for the building up of the body of Christ. The gifts of the Spirit serve the general good of the whole Church. It is possible to confuse spiritual gifts with natural talents and emotions, or to misuse the… Read More


GIRDLE – (cinture or zone) The part of the vestments with which the priest or bishop encircles his waist to hold the alb and stole.


GIVER OF LIFE – In the creed, the Holy Spirit is called “The Giver of Life” because He, together with God the Father and the Son, gives life to all creatures, especially spiritual life to men.


GLORIOUS WEEK ? (Bright week) The week following Easter Sunday.


GLORY – The divine splendor of God, or a specific manifestation of God’s presence frequently likened to a cloud, smoke, or brilliant light. To serve and worship God is to glorify Him. Through the Holy Spirit, Christians are being changed to be like God and to reflect His glory. (Ex. 19:9, 16-18; Is. 60:1; Luke… Read More


GLORY OF ISRAEL – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” Luke 2:32


GLORY VERSE – “Glory verse,” “Glory” and “Doxastichos” mean a hymn (usually to a saint) that is sung after “Glory to the Father …” but before “Now and ever …” The expressions “The saint has a glory,” “there is a glory,” “glory for the saint (if there is one)” etc. refer to such a hymn…. Read More


GLOSSOLALIA – Literally, “speaking in tongues.” St. Paul uses the term to describe not an emotional experience but a spiritual gift (1 Cor. 12:10), though not one of the higher gifts (1 Cor. 14:1-5). At Pentecost the gift was given to allow those present to hear the gospel in their native language (Acts 2:6); in… Read More


GNOSTICISM – A very complex ancient heresy that was manifested in many different forms and beliefs. The Gnostics taught that Christ had imparted secret knowledge “gnosis,” to a select few, who in turn transmitted hidden truths to an elite. Central to Gnosticism is the denial of the goodness of matter, leading to a denial of… Read More


GOD – The Supreme, Eternal and Almighty Spirit Who created all things and rules the universe. He is infinite in all perfections. He is One in Three Persons. The Orthodox Church teaches that we have knowledge of God, only because God has shown himself to his creation. God is the Lord and has revealed himself… Read More


GOD THE FATHER-The fountainhead of the Holy Trinity. The Scriptures reveal the one God is Three Persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — eternally sharing the one divine nature. From the Father the Son is begotten before all ages and all time (Psalm 2:7; II Corinthians 11:31). It is from the Father that the… Read More


GOD-BEARER – One of the various customary saint titles used in commemoration at divine services when remembering saints on the Church Calendar. One who bears God within himself and is aflame in heart with love for Him.


GODPARENTS (GODFATHER, GODMOTHER) ? Sponsors at Holy Baptism and Chrismation who undertake the responsibility for the faith of that person, thereby contracting spiritual relationship. For validity the sponsors must be Orthodox. The duties of the godparents are to take a permanent interest in the spiritual welfare of their godchildren and, if necessary, to undertake their… Read More


GOLDEN CANDLESTICK  –  (an appellation of the Theotokos) In the Old Testament Tabernacle, there were found in the Sanctuary golden candlesticks. The Theotokos is the Candlestick which held that Light that illumines the world (Ex. 25:31-40).


GOLDEN CENSER – (an appellation of the Theotokos) Just as the censer holds a burning coal, so too, the Theotokos held the Living Coal. In the Apocalypse, there stands an Angel before the Throne of God, swinging a censer, representing the prayers of the Saints rising up to God. This is also seen as a… Read More


GOLDEN URN – (an appellation of the Theotokos) In the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant contained within itself a golden urn filled with the heavenly manna. The Theotokos is the Urn which contained Christ, the Divine Manna (Heb. 9:1-7).


GOLGOTHA – The Aramaic name for Mount Calvary where Christ was crucified.


GOOD FRIDAY – (Sl. Great Friday) The Friday before Easter Day on which the Church commemorates the death on the Cross of Jesus Christ. A very strict fast day. No Divine Liturgy on this day. (One exception, when the Feast of Annunciation falls on Good Friday, Divine Liturgy is celebrated.)


GOOD MASTER – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Matt 19:16 (also good teacher)


GOSPEL – (Sl. Eyangeliye, Gr. Evangelion) Literally “Good News.” A recording of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ written by an evangelist. Collectively, the writing of the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the first books of the New Testament. Also the word Gospel is applied to the reading of an extract from… Read More


GOSPEL STIKHERA – hymns sung during Resurrectional Matins at “Glory” of the Verses on the Praises. There are eleven Gospel Stikhera, and they vary from week to week depending upon which of the eleven Gospel lessons for Sunday Matins is read.