Glossary of Church Terms
Eastern-rite (Oriental) Church: Term used to describe the Catholic churches which developed in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. They have their own distinctive liturgical and organizational systems. Each is considered equal to the Latin rite within the church.
Ecclesial: Having to do with the church in general or the life of the church
Ecclesiastical: Refers to official structures or legal and organizational aspects of the church.
Ecumenism /Interdenominational/ Ecumenical Movement: A movement for spiritual understanding and unity among Christians and their churches. The term is also extended to apply to efforts toward greater understanding and cooperation between Christians and members of other faiths.
Encyclical: A pastoral letter addressed by the Pope to the whole Church.
Entrance procession: Priest, deacon, altar servers, lectors, enter the church or designated place for celebration of the liturgy.
Entrance song/music: The song/music which takes place during the entrance procession.
Episcopal: Refers to a bishop or groups of bishops as a form of church government, in which bishops have authority.
Eschatology: Doctrine concerning the last things: death, judgment, heaven and hell, and the final state of perfection of the people and the kingdom of God at the end of the world.
Eucharistic Prayer: The prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. It is the center and high point for the entire celebration.
Evangelical: Refers to Christians who emphasize the need for a definite commitment to faith in Christ and a duty by believers to persuade others to accept Christ.
Evangelist: A preacher or revivalist who seeks conversions by preaching to groups.
Exarch/Exarchy: A church jurisdiction, similar to a diocese, established for Eastern-rite Catholics living outside their native land. The head of an exarch, usually a bishop, is an exarch.
Excommunication: A penalty of censure by which a baptized person is excluded from the communion of the faithful for committing and remaining obstinate in certain serious offenses specified in canon law. Even though excommunicated, a person still is responsible for fulfillment of the normal obligations of a Catholic.