Terminology - Glossary Z

Term Definition

ZACCHAIOUS SUNDAY – Fifth Sunday before lent. On this Sunday the Gospel reading is about Zacchaeus the tax-collector. It tells how Christ brought salvation to the sinful man, and how his life was changed simply because he “sought to see who Jesus was” (Luke 19:3). The desire and effort to see Jesus begins the entire… Read More


ZACHALO (Sl.) – (pericope) A section of a chapter of the Bible, which is designated for reading as a lesson on Sundays and every day of the year. The Gospel of Matthew (28 chapters) is divided into 116 sections: Mark, 16 chapters, 71 sections; Luke, 24 chapters, 114 sections; John, 21 chapters and 67 sections…. Read More


ZADOSTOINIK -The hymns that replace “It is truly meet…” in the Divine Liturgy are called in Slavonic the “Zadostoinik,” or in Greek the “anti tou Axion Estin”, both which mean “Instead of ‘It is truly meet.’” These hymns come from the refrain and irmos of the ninth ode of the Canon of the Feast, which… Read More


ZANAVESS – (Sl.) The curtain over the Royal Doors. The zanavess is drawn at certain times during the celebration of Divine Liturgy, particularly at the time of communion by the celebrant, and the preparation of the particles for communion.


ZAPIVKA –  the liturgical practice in the orthodox church whereby the faithful will partake of antidoron and a small amount of warm wine after receiving holy communion.


ZEAL – Devotion; enthusiastic obedience to God; a quality of divine diligence or fervor. Christians are called to follow Christ with enthusiasm and zeal (Acts 18:25; Rom. 12:10, 11) and –  warned against misguided enthusiasm, a zeal “not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10:2).


ZECHARIAH – One of the books known as the prophetical books of the Old Testament.The prophecies of Zechariah (found in Chapters 1-8) date from 520-518 B.C. and share with Haggai the zeal for a rebuilt Temple, a purified community, and the coming of the Messianic Age. The second part (Chapters 9-14) were probably written later… Read More


ZEON – (Gr. boiling). The hot water used by the priest for the Eucharist. It is added to the chalice during the Communion hymn in commemoration of the water that flowed out of the side of the crucified Christ when he was pierced with the spear.


ZEPHANIAH (Sophonias) – One of the books known as the prophetical books of the Old Testament. The Prophet Zephaniah’s ministry dates to the reign of King Josiah (640-609 B.C.), and this prophecy can be divided into three sections: 1) (Ch. 1) proclamation of doom on Judah in the form of the destructive Day of the… Read More


ZHERTVENNIK – (Sl.) The Table of Oblation which is against the left wall of the Sanctuary. Here the Proskomedia (preparation of the holy elements) is made before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy. The elements remain on the Zhertvennik until the Great Entrance, when they are taken by the priest through the Royal doors and… Read More


Znamenny Chant – One of the basic types of liturgical chant in the Russian Church from the time of its founding. Initially Znamenny Chant was monophonic, performed in unison; beginning with the mid-16th c. there is evidence for polyphonic performance of Znamenny Chant, although only one voice continued to be notated in the MSS. The… Read More


ZNAMENNY NOTATION – (Stolp Notation, Neumatic Notation)  One of the basic chant notations used in the Russian Orthodox Church from the time of its origins. While in its initial form it was borrowed from Byzantium, Znamenny Notation underwent an evolutionary process in Ancient Rus’, and towards the 15th-16th centuries lost its connection with Byzantine notations…. Read More


ZONE – The belt or girdle, of the same material as the vestments, worn by the priests, on his stichar. It signifies the power of faith. It fastens the sticharion and the epitrachelion on his body in order to facilitate his movements and attest his readiness for service, as a man girds himself when he… Read More