Terminology - Glossary H

Term Definition

HOLY CHURCH –  The Church is holy because God is holy, and because Christ and the Holy Spirit are holy. The holiness of the Church comes from God. The members of the Church are holy to the extent that they live in communion with God. Within the earthly Church, people participate in God’s holiness. Sin… Read More


HOLY FATHERS – There are in the Church a number of saints who were theologians and spiritual teachers who defended and explained the doctrines of the Christian Faith. These saints are called the holy fathers of the Church and their teachings are called the patristic teachings (patristic is from the Greek word for father). The… Read More


HOLY OBLATION – The Holy Oblation occurs on the Holy Altar, it is the part of the Divine Liturgy during which the Eucharistic elements are offered to God, and so become His Blood and Body.


HOLY OF HOLIES – (an appellation of the Theotokos) Into the Holy of Holies only the High Priest could enter. So too, the Theotokos is the Holy of Holies into which only the Eternal High Priest Christ entered (Heb. 9:1-7).


HOLY ONE – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Ps 16:10 “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;” Acts 3:14 “Saying, Let us alone; what… Read More


HOLY ORDERS – (Ordination) The Sacrament through which men receive the power and grace to carry out the sacred duties of ministers of the Church. The diaconate, priesthood and episcopacy are the three grades of service contained in the Sacrament.


HOLY SCRIPTURE – Certain books written by the Spirit of God through men sanctified by God, called Prophets and Apostles. These books are commonly termed the Bible.  In holy Scripture we read the words of the Prophets and Apostles precisely as if we were living with them and listening to them, although the latest of… Read More


HOLY SPIRIT – The Holy Spirit iis one of the Persons of the Holy Trinity and is one in essence with the Father. Orthodox Christians repeatedly confess, “And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped… Read More


HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS – The Holy Synod of Bishops is the supreme canonical authority in the Orthodox Church in America. It includes, as voting members, all the diocesan bishops of the OCA. The Metropolitan is the ex-officio Chairman of the Synod. In case of his absence, a Chairman is elected by the diocesan bishops… Read More


HOLY TABLE – (an appellation of the Theotokos) This refers to the Holy Table (Altar Table) on which, at the Divine Liturgy, the Divine Food is offered. So too, the Theotokos is the Holy Table which bore the Bread of Life


HOLY THING – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) – ” And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35


HOLY THURSDAY – Thursday of the Holy Week. It is the day in memory of the Last Supper. The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated and the Reserved Sacraments are prepared. In the evening at Matins (of Holy Friday) service the Twelve Passion Gospels are read.


HOLY TRADITION –  the doctrine of the faith, the law of God, the sacraments, and the ritual as handed down by the true believers and worshipers of God by word and example from one to another, and from generation to generation. All true believers united by the holy tradition of the faith, collectively and successively,… Read More


HOLY TRINITY – It was revealed  that GOD is one, yet He is three in PERSONS: God the Father, the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit, — a TRINITY Consubstantial and Undivided. GOD THE FATHER is neither begotten, nor proceeds from another Person, He is the eternal Source of the Godhead.; THE SON OF… Read More


HOLY UNCTION – The Mystery or Sacrament of Holy Unction is celebrated on Holy Wednesday evening. Actually this service can be celebrated any time during the year, especially when one is ill.  However, because of our need for forgiveness and spiritual healing, we offer this service during Holy Week for the remission of our sins. … Read More


HOLY WATER – Water blessed on the Day of Theophany (Jan. 6) and on other special occasions. It is used to bless persons and things.


HOLY WEEK – (Sl. Passion Week) The week preceding Easter in which the sufferings of Christ are commemorated. Each day of Holy Week has its own particular theme. The theme of Holy Monday is that of the sterile fig tree which yields no fruit and is condemned. Holy Tuesday the accent is on the vigilance… Read More


HOMOSEXUALITY – Although there is much more open discussion about homosexuality since the twentieth century than in previous times, there is definite reference to it in ancient writings. The frequently used synonym, sodomy, comes from the apparent homosexual activity among men of Sodom (Genesis 19), and the severity of strictures set forth in the Holiness… Read More


HOPE – An expectation of something desired. Christian hope is trust and confidence in the eternal goodness of God, a faith that Christ has overcome the suffering of this world. God is both the cause and goal of hope (John 16:20-24, 33; Rom. 5:2; 8:24, 25; 2 Thess. 2:16). As a guide for the doctrine… Read More


HOROLOGION – The Horologion ( Chasoslov, ), or Book of Hours, provides the Acolouthia of the Daily Cycle of services  as used by the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Into this fixed framework, numerous moveable parts of the services are inserted. The Horologion is primarily a book for the use of the Reader and Cantor… Read More


HOSANNA – From the Hebrew word meaning “O Lord, save, we pray.”


HOSEA – One of the books known as the prophetical books of the Old Testament. This book is part of the Book of the Twelve, also known as The Minor Prophets. Hosea preached in the time of the Northern Kingdom (750-722 B.C.). He can be characterized as the Prophet of Divine Love, since he preaches… Read More


HOURS – Divine service of the Church appointed for different hours of the day. Prime (First Hour), consisting of Psalms and prayers is read after Vespers and Matins; Terse (Third Hour) is read before Divine Liturgy, also Sext (Sixth Hour). None (Ninth Hour) is read before Vespers, or Compline. These “hours” conform generally to the… Read More


HYMN – (1) In a general sense, any poetic song performed in the context of the liturgy; hymns may offer praise or prayer to God, or may express dogmas and moral precepts, as well as describe and reflect upon historical and liturgical events. (2) Specific doxological or devotional songs, e. g., the Thrice-Holy Hymn “Holy… Read More