Good Friday

Good Friday—the Friday before Easter—is the day observed by the Christian church as the day of Christ’s crucifixion. Christians keep this day in many ways: with prayer, fasting, or the veneration of the cross.


Messiah means, literally, the “anointed one.” In Biblical tradition, the term came to mean a redeemer and royal descendant of the dynasty of David who would restore the united kingdom of Israel and Judah and usher in an age of peace, justice and plenty, sometimes called the Messianic age. Judaism, throughout its history, has lived through many false messianic claims. While the most famous one, from a Jewish perspective, is Jesus of Nazareth, the notion of proclaiming oneself, or one’s spiritual mentor, to be the messiah, was common in Medieval Judaism as well. Shabbetai Tzvi (1626-1676)... Read more about Messiah


A catechism is a manual or lesson book of Christian instruction, containing essential Christian teachings for young people or those seeking to join the Christian community.


Excommunication is a form of church censure, barring a Christian from participating in the holy communion, thus barring that person from the fellowship of the church.


The Pope, the Bishop of the Church of Rome, is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church worldwide, invested with both moral and ecclesiastical authority by the Church. In 1870, the pronouncements of the Pope on issues of faith were proclaimed to be infallible by the Vatican I ecumenical council.


A bishop is an ordained minister who supervises life in a diocese, synod, or other broad region and possesses, among other things, the authority to ordain clergy to the ministry of the church. The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and Protestant churches including Lutherans and Methodists, have bishops.

Divine Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy is the Eucharist, the communal sharing of sanctified bread and wine, as it is practiced in the Eastern Orthodox churches.


Lutheranism is a Protestant tradition following the theology of Martin Luther (1483-1546), the reformer who was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and launched the German reformation. He emphasized the sole authority of the Bible, the priesthood of all believers, and justification before God by faith alone.


Paul, an early Jewish convert to the way of Christ (about 33 CE), became the Apostle to the Gentiles, preaching the Gospel and establishing churches in Greece, Asia Minor, and Rome. Some thirteen letters of Paul to these early churches have become part of the scriptural treasury of Christians known as the New Testament.

Azusa Street revivals

On Azusa Street in Los Angeles was the mission church of black Holiness preacher William J. Seymour where one of the most important streams of pentecostalism had its genesis in revivals that took place between 1905 and 1913.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

(also: Mormons; LDS) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called the Mormon Church, was launched by Joseph Smith (1805-44) who discovered a new revelation, the Book of Mormon, which became, along with the Bible, the “latter day” scripture of the new community. The Mormons, under the leadership of Brigham Young, established a thriving community in Utah in the 1840s and are today a worldwide church.


A parish is the geographical neighborhood or area served by a church or pastor.


The apostles are the disciples of Jesus recognized as leaders of the early church; Paul, although not a disciple, came to be considered an apostle as well.


In the Christian tradition, Joseph is the earthly father of Jesus and husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Old Testament

(also: Hebrew Bible) The Old Testament is the term Christians often use for the body of writings that comprise the Hebrew Bible which Jews call Tanakh.