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Glossary of Church Terms

Alphabetical Listing of Glossary of Church Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | Z


Laicization: The process by which a man ordained is relieved of his obligations and is returned to the status of a lay person.

Lamb of God: An invocation during the breaking of the bread in which the assembly petitions for mercy and peace.

Lay ministries: These are ministries within the church that are carried out by laypersons. Included are altar servers, eucharistic minister and lectors.

Layman, woman, person: Any church member who is neither ordained nor a member of a religious order. When the Second Vatican Council spoke of the laity, it used the term in this more common meaning.

Leader of Song: The person who leads the community/assembly in the music they sing.

Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR): Organization of major superiors, who represent more than 90 percent of the active women religious in the United States.

Lectionary: The book that contains all the readings from the Scriptures for use in the celebration of the liturgy.

Liturgical Colors: Colors used in vestments and altar coverings to denote special times in the Church. Green is used in ordinary times, red denotes feasts of martyrs or the Holy Spirit, purple denotes penitential times and white is used for joyful occasions including Christmas, Easter and some saints' days.

Liturgy: The public prayer of the Church.

Liturgy of the Word: That section of the celebration where the Scriptures are proclaimed and reflected upon. On Sundays and major feasts, there are three readings:

  1. Old Testament selection
  2. New Testament selection (from the Epistles)
  3. The Gospel reading
Liturgy of the Hours: This is the preferred term in the Latin rite for the official liturgical prayers sanctifying the parts of each day.

Liturgy of the Eucharist: The section of the celebration when the gifts are prepared and the Eucharistic Prayer is proclaimed by the celebrant.

Lord's Prayer: The prayer of petition for both daily food (which for Christians means also the Eucharistic bread) and the forgiveness of sins.

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