Terminology - Glossary T

Term Definition

TABERNACLE – (Gr. Artophorion; Sl. Darochranitelnitsa) 1) An elaborate ark or receptacle kept on the Altar Table, in which the Holy Gifts of the Eucharist are preserved for the communion of the sick, or for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts during Lent.  2) (an appellation of the Theotokos)  The Tabernacle was the place where… Read More


TEACHER – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) “The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” John 3:2


TEMPLE –  1)Following the terminology of Orthodox service books and rubrics books, “church” refers to the community of the faithful, which is also called the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, the New Israel, the People of God, and other titles; while “temple” — as in the Jewish faith from which our worship developed… Read More


TEMPTATION – The seductive attraction of sin. Christ was tempted by Satan and has overcome the power of temptation. Those united to Christ are given His power also to withstand the temptation of sin through patience, courage, and obedience. (Matt. 4:1-11; 1 Cor. 10:13; Heb. 2:17, 18; James 1:12.)


TETRAPOD – (Gr. artophorion) A square table placed in the center of the church with an icon of the Feast Day or the Patron Saint for veneration.


THANKSGIVING – To be grateful, to offer thanks, especially to God for His love and mercy. The Eucharistic prayer is called the thanksgiving (1 Thess. 5:18). Thanksgiving prayer is sent up to God for all the good things received from Him. It arises naturally in a grateful and sensitive soul. God is merciful to all… Read More


THAUMATOURGOS – (Gr. “miracle-worker;” Sl. Chudotvorets). A title given to some saints distinguished among the faithful for their miracles. Worker of wonders, like St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycea, St. Pan-teleimon the Unmercenary Physician.


THEOLOGIAN – Theology deals with God, our participation in Him, and the underlying divine reality inherent in creation. It is far more than intellectual and scholarly discourse about God, and is not acquired through academic study. A real theologian is someone who has reached intimate communion with God and has perception of the spiritual world…. Read More


THEOPHANY – A manifestation of God in His uncreated glory. It refers also to Christ’s resurrection appearances. The revelation of the Holy Trinity at the Baptism of Christ (Luke 3:21, 22) is the greatest theophany; it is celebrated in the Orthodox Church on Epiphany (Jan. 6). Other theophanies are found throughout the Bible. For example,… Read More


THEOSIS – Theosis is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, whereby through Grace one becomes a participant in the Kingdom of God. Theosis literally means to become gods by Grace. The Biblical words that are synonymous and descriptive of Theosis are: adoption, edemption, inheritance, glorification, holiness and perfection. Theosis is an act of the uncreated… Read More


THEOTOKION – (pl. Theotokia Gr. “referring to Theotokos;” Sl. Bogorodichey). A hymn which refers to or praises Theotokos, the Mother of God, that usually concludes a cycle of stichera or troparia. There are several categories of Theotokia: resurrectional theotokia, which are sung after “Glory…now and ever” at the end of the stichera aposticha; theotokia dogmatica,… Read More


THEOTOKOS – God-bearer, birth-giver, frequently translated “Mother of God.”? Because Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, Mary is called the Mother of God to profess our faith that in the Incarnation, God was in her womb. Elizabeth called Mary “blessed” and “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:42, 43). At the Council of… Read More


I THESSALONIANS (First Epistle of Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians) – This epistle is probably the first of St. Paul’s letters, written from Corinth about 51 A.D. During his second missionary journey, after being driven out of Philippi, Paul, Silas and Timothy came to Thessalonica, the capital of Macedonia (Acts 17:1). Here he preached in… Read More


II THESSALONIANS (Second Epistle of Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians) -This letter was sent by Paul to the Thessalonians shortly after the first letter, as a result of continued persecutions by the Jews at Thessalonica. In addition, there were some misunderstandings concerning the Second Coming of Christ and the view was held by some that… Read More


THREE HIERARCHS – The Orthodox Church considers in particular three bishops (hierarches) of the Church as Her most important Teachers and Fathers, who contributed to the development and the spiritual growth of the Church. They are St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom. Their feast day is observed on January… Read More


THRONE – 1) A category of angelic beings.  Thereafter the seraphim and cherubim stand the God-bearing thrones (as St. Dionysius the Areopagite calls them) before Him Who sits on the high and exulted throne, being named “thrones” since on them, as on intellectual thrones (as writes St. Maximus the Confessor) God intellectually resides. They are… Read More


THURIBLE – (Sl. Kadilo) A vessel in which incense is burned for liturgical incensations (a censer).


I TIMOTHY (First Epistle of Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians) – The first letter to Timothy (the son of a Greek Gentile Father and a Jewish Mother, Eunice, and closely associated with Paul from the time of the second missionary journey) had a dual purpose: to provide guidance in the problems of Church administration, and… Read More


II TIMOTHY (Second Epistle of Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians) – The second letter to Timothy is an earnest pastoral letter from a veteran missionary to a younger colleague, urging endurance as the main quality of a preacher of the Gospel. Here we encounter the theme of a good soldier of Christ (2:3) as well… Read More


TITHES – (Sl. Desyatina) The tenth part, held from the earliest times to be due to God. (GEN. 14:20; LEV. 27:30; HEB. 7:5). Payment is the recognized fulfillment of the natural obligation of the faithful to contribute to the support of the clergy and the Church.


TITULAR BISHOP – An auxiliary bishop without his own territorial or residential diocese, who is usually assisting a senior bishop with a large jurisdiction (Archbishop or Patriarch). The episcopal title of a titular bishop is taken from an ancient diocese which once flourished but now exists only in name, and, therefore, a titular bishop does… Read More


TITUS – (Epistle of St. Paul to Titus) -This letter, sent to Titus (an oft-mentioned companion of Paul in the Acts) has three main topics, corresponding to the three chapters of this epistle: 1) sets forth what is required of elders or bishops in the face of various false teachers and local problems; 2) the… Read More


TOLL – The Toll (Perebor). This is the slow tolling of each bell, beginning with the largest to the smallest and ending with a striking of all the bells at once. It is used at the carrying-out of the deceased from the church for burial and is known as the funeral toll. There is no… Read More


TOMOS –  small book that contains a major announcement or similar text promulgated by a Holy Synod, such as a grant of autocephaly.