Glossary of terms

This section lists some common words and terms used in the Church of England. Cclick on the first letter of the word and a list of words beginning with that letter will appear. Click on more.. for that word for an explanation.  This will open a separate window with the description and, in some cases, an image.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

'Glory to God in the Highest and peace to..' We say/sing this at the Eucharist after the Confession and Absolution. It is celebrating the new life God gives us through forgiveness. Sometimes sung as a hymn and, as a song of praise, not always sung in Advent and Lent.

Gloria Patri

'Glory to the Father and to the Son..' at the end of psalms and canticles (eg at the end of the Magnificat at Evensong)


If, at Church, we are called upon to say together The Grace we will repeat Verse 14 of 2 Corinthians 13: 'The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit'. Such a prayer is used to end a series of other prayers or to close a service.

Grace at meals: In John 6 v 11 Jesus gives thanks before he distributed the bread and fish to the 5000; in Acts 27 v 35 Paul gave thanks 'in the presence of all' before a meal on his voyage across the Mediterranean. From these traditions has come the practice of saying grace before and after a meal.

Grace: associated with the Latin 'gratia' and the Greek 'charis'. The Grace is God's way of giving himself freely to us. By his favour and his love shown to us in the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ, we are able to enter into that vital loving relationship with our Heavenly Father.