Dictionary

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Banns

Banns of marriage involve the public declaration (normally in the parish church) that two people intend to be married. The announcement invites any who know of any impediment to the marriage to make it known.

Baptism

Baptism involves declaring faith in God and being washed with water. It means being cleansed from sin, being united to Jesus Christ, receiving his Holy Spirit and becoming God’s children. Sometimes called ‘Christening’.

Bishop

‘Bishop’ comes from the Greek word for ‘overseer’. So a bishop is a senior Christian minister authorised to have oversight for God’s people. As well as duties given to deacons and priests, bishops confirm and ordain.

Confirmation

Confirmation is about ‘confirming’ the faith in God we declared at baptism. It also involves being strengthened by God’s Holy Spirit. In the Church in Wales it is administered by the bishop.

Deacon

‘Deacon’ comes the Greek word for ‘servant’. Deacons in the Church in Wales have special roles within worship such as proclaiming the gospel. Traditionally, deacons have had responsibility for social care. Deacons often go on to be ordained priest.

Eucharist

‘Eucharist’ comes from the Greek word for ‘thanksgiving’. At the Eucharist the Church remembers Jesus’ last supper where he gave bread and wine to be his body and blood, a sign of his saving love. See also Holy Communion.

Holy Communion

At Holy Communion blessed bread and wine is shared, by which we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The congregation gives thanks for Jesus’ life, his death and resurrection and his continuing presence. See also Eucharist.

Lent

Lent is the six-week period leading up to Easter. It is a particular time to confess sin and to seek personal and collective renewal (a ‘springtime of the spirit’). Lent has a special focus on Jesus’s journey to the cross and prepares the Church to celebrate his resurrection.

Prayer

Prayer sustains our human relationship with God and may involve words (formal or informal) or be silent. Prayer can involve adoration (‘I love you’), confession (‘sorry’), thanksgiving and supplication (‘please’).

Priest

‘Priest’ comes from the Greek word for ‘elder’. Priests in the Church in Wales are those authorised specifically to proclaim forgiveness of sins, preside at the Eucharist and bless God’s people, as well as other responsibilities.

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