A rectangular neckpiece or collar worn with an alb. The amice is generally not worn by a low; church person.
Burse: A burse is one of the furnishings of the altar for communion, and is a pocket case made from two squares of some rigid material covered in cloth. The burse sits on top of the chalice, paten and veil, and serves to hold a corporal. Often, the burse also serves to hide an extra purificator.
Cassock: a long garment, usually black, used in non-Eucharistic liturgies. A black robe worn by priests or deacons, and are usually worn with a white over-garment called a surplice. A Canon may wear a black cassock with red piping, or (with permission) may wear a purple cassock. Deans and archdeacons may wear black cassocks with red or purple piping. Lay readers, choir members and acolytes can also (and often do) wear cassocks.
Chrism: A mixture of olive oil and balsam, and sometimes used at baptisms, confirmations, ordinations and some blessings of altars and other church fixtures. Chrism is not the same as other holy oils such as those used for the unction of the sick. No balsam is added to oil used for unction.
Colors: Color plays an import part in the designation of seasons and feasts in the Anglican Church. Each church season has a color associated with it. Advent is purple (the color of preparation and penitence) or Marian Blue (in honor of Mary), Christmas is white (the color celebration), Epiphany is green (the color of growth; growth of the gospel message from Jew to Gentile - re: the three Wise Men), Lent is purple, Easter is white, and the season after Pentecost is green (for the growth of the church). Weddings and funerals are usually occasions for white (the color of celebration) while Pentecost Sunday and ordinations are red, to signify the presence of the Holy Spirit. Black is occasionally used one day a year -- Good Friday.
Gospel Side: The gospel side is on the right-hand side of the priest, as determined by where he is facing when celebrating the Holy Communion. The Gospel side is thus dependant on whether the altar is located against the wall or free-standing. Originally, the priest celebrated communion facing the people and thus the Gospel Side was the north side of the Church building [the left side, when facing the altar]. In medieval times the altar was pushed against the west wall, and the Gospel side then became the right side, when facing the altar.
Host: The consecrated "bread" part of the Holy Communion. In most Anglican churches a wafer is used as the host, but an increasing number of churches are using actual baked bread. The wafer the priest breaks at the fraction is called a "priest's host."
Incense: A fragrant powder burned in a small dish or pot; used during the service or in the processions. Some say incense is used to recall of one of the three gifts of the Wise Men to the Christ Child. Scripture commends its usage, particularly in Psalm 141, where prayers are asked to be like incense.
Lavabo: The name originally referred to the ceremonial washing of the priests hands before he or she celebrated Communion, while saying the words, "I will wash my hands in innocence." (Psalm 26:6). The name lavabo also refers to the small towel used to dry the hands and the bowl into which water is poured during the washing.
Monstrance: a special container in the shape of a cross with a circular, clear glass (or crystal) receptacle in its center. A monstrance is designed to hold a consecrated Host that is exposed for adoration. The monstrance is designed to "demonstrate" the real presence of Christ.
Narthex: In church architecture, the narthex is an enclosed space at the entry end of the nave of a building; the area in the church building inside the doors and in front of the nave. The narthex is usually enclosed (primarily to provide a buffer between the outside weather and the heating/cooling inside), and is the area where the procession gathers prior to the service.
Nave: The main part of a church building; the place where the congregation sits. In medieval England the derogatory term "knave" (commoner) developed from nave, because the nave is the area of the building where the "common" people sit.
Oil Stock: A special container designed to hold holy oil used in unction and at baptisms. Oil stocks are usually about as wide as a quarter, and about an inch in length. A cotton ball inside the oil stock holds the holy oil.
Paschal Candle: A very large candle in a very tall holder and placed in a prominent display in the epistle side of the sanctuary. The candle is lighted throughout the Easter season, and during baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
Piscina: The piscina is the stone or porcelain basin (traditionally set in the south wall of the Sanctuary) from which a drain pipe carries to the ground the water used in the ablutions. It is also the most convenient way for many Altar Guilds to dispose of the remaining consecrated wine after a service. The piscina is never, ever to be hooked up to the building's plumbing.
Pulpit: A raised platform or podium used for the sermon or homily; generally located in the front of the gospel side of the nave. In some Colonial church buildings and in many non-Episcopal churches, the pulpit is in the center, to signify the importance of the sermon.
Purple: The primary color used in the season of Lent, and the most popular color used in Advent. Purple signifies penitence and preparation. Purple was originally a sign of royalty, as purple dye was rare. Thus, a purple clergy shirt (or some shade of violet) usually indicates that the wearer is a bishop.
Sanctuary Lamp: A lamp hanging somewhere in the sanctuary. Sometimes there are three lamps, sometimes seven, but usually only one. A single, continuously burning sanctuary lamp indicates the presence of the Reserved Sacrament.
Sacraments: According to the prayer book, sacraments are "outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace." Sacraments are physical actions that point us to deeper realities than we are able to experience with our five senses. The Anglican Church recognizes two major, or "gospel" sacraments, and five minor sacraments, or sacramental acts. The two major sacraments, Baptism and Communion, and called gospel sacraments because Jesus told us (in the gospels) to do them until he comes again. The five sacramental acts (or minor sacraments) are not all necessarily required of all Christians. They are Confirmation, Marriage, Ordination, Reconciliation, and Unction.
Sacristan: In earlier times the sacristan was the man in charge of the sacristy. Some cathedrals will still designate a priest as a Canon Sacristan, but now the usage of the word has largely become interchangeable with the word "sexton."
Tabernacle: A small cabinet (sometimes a vessel) designed to contain the Reserved Sacrament. The tabernacle may be found built into the altar, sitting on the altar, on the retable, or it may be built into another part of the sanctuary. In very Low Churches the tabernacle will not be found anywhere.
Veil: From Latin vela: a sail or curtain. In the Church, the veil refers to the solid cloth that covers the chalice and paten at the Eucharist, or the loose-woven netting that is draped over crosses (and sometimes pictures) during Lent and Holy Week.
Wafer: The bread part of the Lord's Supper signifying to us the Body of Christ, and is often an unleavened, and very thin cracker-like substance. After the wafer is consecrated, it is usually called the Host. Sometimes the wafer is imprinted with a cross, sometimes it is smooth. Wafers that will serve as priest's hosts are larger than the people's hosts, and can range from one inch to several inches in diameter. The people's host is usually about a half inch in size.
Wine: The beverage portion of the Lord's Supper. As Scripture reminds us, "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many, for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:27-28) In the Anglican Church, wine is used at communion (instead of grape juice) and is often a port wine.