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Glossary of terms

Baptism
The ceremony of cleansing used when a person becomes a member of the Christian Church.

Confirmation
A conscious reaffirmation of baptismal vows, for those baptized as babies.

Congregation
The group of people who attend a church.

Creed
A formal statement of Christian belief.

Diocese
A regional grouping of parishes under the direction of a bishop.

Eucharist
Another term for Holy Communion, or the service containing it.

Gospel
One of the four accounts of the life of Jesus in the New Testament.

New Testament
The part of the Bible dealing specifically with Christianity, and containing the Gospels.

Old Testament
The part of the Bible predating Jesus, and containing Jewish religious laws and traditions. Also called the Hebrew scriptures.

Parish
An individual church, and the area for which it has responsibility.

Sacrament
One of the core ceremonies of the Church, defined as 'outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace'.

Theology
Traditionally defined as "Faith seeking understanding" and perhaps best understood as "reflecting upon our experience of God" either as an individual or as a community of seekers.

Theologian
A scholar who studies questions of God and religion.

Trinity
The combination of the three recognized aspects of God, known as Father, Son (Jesus of Nazareth) and Holy Spirit.