Terminology - Glossary N

Term Definition

NABEDRENNIK – (Epigonation) A part of the priestly vestment which is suspended upon the left hip signifying the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.


NAHUM – One of the books known as the prophetical books of the Old Testament.The Prophet Nahum prophesied between 626-612 B.C. and concerns himself with an oracle against Nineveh and the destruction of Assyria. It is a triumphant song asserting boldly that the Lord is the avenger of cruelty and immorality.


NAME – (a) Personal. A name is given at the time of Baptism. Only one name should be given. A name should be chosen from the list of saints. In some Orthodox countries it is the custom to give the child the name of the Saint who is commemorated on the day of birth, (b)… Read More


NAME-DAY – The celebration of the feast-day of the saint of one’s name. In Russia it used to be popular to celebrate the name-day rather than the birth-day.


NAMES OF JESUS – (Appellations or title of Jesus)  Advocate, Almighty, Alpha And Omega, Amen, Anointed, Arm Of The Lord, Author And Finisher Of Our Faith, Beginning And End, Beloved, Blessed And Potentete, Branch, Bread Of Life, Bridegroom, Bright And Morning Star, Brightness Of The Father’s Glory, Captain Of Salvation, Captain Of The Lord’s Host,… Read More


NARTHEX – The vestibule area of the church leading to the nave. In the early Christian church the catechumens and the penitents were limited to this part of the church.


NATIVITY – The name is used to designate three feasts: the birth of our Lord (Dec. 25), the birth of the All Holy Virgin (Sept. 8), and the birth of St. John the Baptist (June 24). These are the only actual birthdays kept by the Church.


NATIVITY FAST – (Advent) The Nativity Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ. That is the reason it is less strict than other fasting periods. The six weeks prior to Christmas (the Nativity of our Lord in… Read More


NATIVITY OF THE THEOTOKOS – One of the three major feasts in the Church honoring Mary, the Theotokos. Her nativity is calibrated on the eighth of September.


NATURE – The sum of the qualities shared by individuals of the same type. (The qualities which distinguish individuals of a type from one another make up the “person.”) The Holy Trinity is one divine Nature in three Persons. Humanity is one human nature in many persons. Although stained by sin, human nature is good,… Read More


NAVE – The center or the body of the church occupied by the people.


NAZARENE – (an appellation or Title of Jesus)  “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” Matt 2:23


NEHEMIAH – One of the books known as the historical books of the Old Testament. Forms part of a larger history which includes 1st and 2nd Chronicles. The theme of these books are the religious and political reorganization of Judah after the Return from the Babylonian Exile in the time of the Persian Empire (Kings… Read More


NEKROSIMA – stichera for the reposed


NESTORIANISM – The name of a Christological heresy which originated in the Church in the 5th century out of an attempt to rationally explain and understand the incarnation of the divine Logos, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity as the man Jesus Christ. Nestorianism teaches that the human and divine essences of Christ are… Read More


NEUMATIC NOTATION – A general term used with reference to staffless musical notations (in Russia — the znamenny, demestvenny, and put’), which were used to notate hymns by means of special ideographic signs (neumes), written above the verbal text.


NEW BIRTH – Receipt of new life. It is how we gain entrance into God’s kingdom and His Church. Jesus said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). From its beginning, the Church has taught that the “water” is the baptismal water and the… Read More


NEW ISRAEL – The Church. According to the typological method, God’s promises to Abraham and his descendents were fulfilled through Christ and His Church. One Orthodox scholar has written: “In Christ, then, the covenant with Israel was fulfilled, transformed, and transcended. After the coming of the Messiah—the Incarnation of God the Son—only those who are… Read More


NEW JERUSALEM – The center of the Kingdom of God which will be established following the Second Coming of Christ and the Last Judgment. The heavenly Jerusalem will take the place of the old earthly Jerusalem, and is called by Paul, “the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26).  (Rev. 3:12; 21:2.)


NEW MAN – One who is being transformed or deified by the Holy Spirit into a new creature in communion with God (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15).


NEW MARTYR – One of the various customary saint titles used in commemoration at divine services when remembering saints on the Church Calendar. The title of New Martyr was originally given to martyrs under heretical rulers (the original martyrs being under pagans), then later to the Church’s martyrs under Islam and various modern atheistic regimes,… Read More


NEW TESTAMENT – The books of the Bible which contain the revelation of God since the coming of Christ: the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the seven General Epistles, the fourteen Epistles of Saint Paul, and the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse). The center of the New Testament part of the Bible is the… Read More


NICEA I – (First Council of Nicea) Name of the First Ecumenical Council. It was held at Nicea in the year 325.  Among its activities, it formulated the first part of the Creed, defining the divinity of the Son of God.


NICEA II – (Second Council of Nicea) Name of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. It was held at Nicea in the year 787.  Among its activities, it affirmed the propriety of icons as genuine expressions of the Christian Faith.