Christians in general--and Anglicans in particular--are too often guilty of using jargon that no one else understands. In trying to tell others about what we do, the jargon is sometimes difficult to avoid. We offer this glossary as a help.

This section is still under construction.


A declaration of the forgiveness of sin available through Jesus Christ, usually offered liturgically by a bishop or priest.


The holy table upon which the people offer gifts to God and where God offers gifts to his people. The holy table around which the church gathers for the Eucharist.


Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England, similar beliefs, worship and church structures. Anglicanism is one of the principal traditions of Christianity, together with Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.


Sacramental rite of full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit, into membership in the Christian church.

Book of Common Prayer (BCP)

"The Prayer Book" first published in 1549, a product of the English Reformation, and the first book to outline the form of service for daily prayer and Holy Communion in the English language, under the editorial hand of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. The Book of Common Prayer (The Anglican Church of Canada, 1962) remains an authorised prayer book in Canada.

Book of Althernative Services (BAS)

The Book of Alternative Services is the contemporary liturgical book used alongside the Book of Common Prayer (1962) (BCP) in most parishes of the Anglican Church of Canada.


See "Clergy".


The vessel, which looks like a cup, in which supplemental bread is offered at the Eucharist.


The cup, often made of silver, in which wine is offered at the Eucharist.


Clergy are baptised member of the church who are "ordained" or set apart to special ministries in the church. In the catholic tradition there are three orders of clergy: bishops, priests and deacons. Bishops normally give leadership to entire dioceses. Priests are typically the clergy who serve in local parishes. Bishops and priests may lead the community's celebrations of the Eucharist and may bless and offer absolution. Deacons typically are called to special ministries of service; in the church's liturgies they often read the Gospel, lead in the prayers and prepare the altar for the celebration of the Eucharist.


Or "Holy Communion", see "Eucharist".


Confirmation is a rite, thought of a "lesser sacrament", normally including the laying on of hands by the bishop for the purpose of bestowing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. For those who have been baptised as small children, confirmation provides the opportunity to own the vows made by parents and sponsors for themselves.


Also, in some Anglican churches known as the "undercroft" is more familiarly known in places other than the church as the "basement". The crypt simply refers to the space directly under the church proper.

Cycle of Prayer

In our prayer life together there are many things that we would like to remember before God. The creation of a "cycle of prayer" reminds us to pray for various things using a schedule that reminds us what we will pray for on various days.

The Anglican Cycle of Prayer is a daily cycle shared by the entire worldwide Anglican communion which has us all praying for individual dioceses and their bishops and people on an annual basis.

Our diocesan cycle of prayer is a daily cycle shared in the Diocese of Niagar where we pray for individual parishes as well as individual parishes in our companion dioceses in Cuba and Uraguay.

Our parish cycle of prayer is a weekly cycle in our own parish where we pray for individual by name as well as the various ministries of the parish.


See "Clergy".


The district in which a bishop has ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

Diocese of Niagara

The Diocese of Niagara extends from the Niagara Penninsula to Oakville, to Shelbourne and Mount Forest in the north, and south to Nanticoke. The "see" of Niagara (main city and home of the cathedral) is Hamilton.


The Eucharist—also known variously as the Holy Eucharist, Mass, Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper—is a central act of worship in Christianity which commemorates or ‘follows’ the Last Supper as recorded in Matthew 26: 26-8, Mark 14: 22-4 and Luke 22: 17-20, in the eating and drinking of bread and wine, remembering Christ's body and blood. The term Eucharist is from the Greek, meaning ‘thanksgiving’, there is evidence of the earliest Christians participating in this liturgy, instituted by Christ himself in his celebration of the Passover meal on the night before he died and during which he 'gave thanks' and said "do this in remembrance of me."


Evensong, like Matins—is part of the daily prayer life of the church. Occasionally at St John's a Choral Evensong will be offered in the late afternoon or early evening.


In the community of the church, any person who is not a bishop, priest or deacon (that is, not clergy). The laity can be thought of as the fourth order of ministry in the church.


Matins—also known as Morning Prayer—is part of the daily prayer life of the church. While historically the pattern for the weekly gathering of Christians for worship was that of the Eucharist, for many years under Matins was the principal service in many Anglican churches. In most churches today, however, the Eucharist has been restored to its proper place as the main service on Sundays. Occasionally, here at St John's, our Choral Service will take of the form of Choral Matins.


The plate on which the bread is offered a the Eucharist.

Parish Council

A group of persons, elected and appointed, who give leadership in a parish, with specific reference to the mission of the parish.


See "clergy".


The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRFD) is the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church in Canada.


The chief liturgical and sacramental leader of a parish appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the bishop of the diocese.

Sacristy, Sacristan

The sacristy is the room close to the sanctuary in which the chalice, paten, linens, vestments, and other essentials for celebrating the eucharist are cleaned, stored, and made ready for use. The sacristan is the person in charge of the sacristy.


The wardens of the parish are elected and appointed to be responsible for care of the parish buildings and finances. Wardens are ex officio members of the Parish Council.

Upcoming Soon

  • Wednesday Eucharist
    May 30, 2018

    10 a.m. Holy Eucharist in the tradition of the Book of Common Prayer at the Nave Altar in the church proper.

  • Hamilton Choir Project
    June 2, 2018

    Awe & Wonder | Concert begins at 8:00 pm | Tickets are PWYC available at

  • Wednesday Eucharist
    June 6, 2018

    10 a.m. Holy Eucharist in the tradition of the Book of Common Prayer at the Nave Altar in the church proper.

  • Wednesday Eucharist
    June 13, 2018

    10 a.m. Holy Eucharist in the tradition of the Book of Common Prayer at the Nave Altar in the church proper.

  • cinquefoil
    June 15, 2018

    School's Out | Doors and Bar open at 8:00 pm | Concert begins at 8:30 

Service Times


8:15 a.m., The Early Service, Holy Communion in the tradition of the Book of Common Prayer. In the chapel of St. Michael and St. George.

9:30 a.m., The Discovery Service, with our worship band, a less formal liturgy of Holy Eucharist, in the church proper.

11 a.m., The Choral Service, in the classic Anglican and choral traditions with organ and the Parish Choir.


10 a.m., Wednesday Chapel Eucharist, Holy Communion in the tradition of The Book of Common Prayer, in the Chapel of St Michael and St George (downstairs).


Messy Church, on the third Thursday of each month. Messy Church is a hands-on worship experience for the entire family with crafts, drama, songs and (perhaps best of all) dinner!


Our Mission

God calls us to help people become followers of Jesus, equipped for ministry in the church and in the world, through nurture, worship, evangelism and service.

Contact Us

The Church of St John the Evangelist
320 Charlton Avenue West
Hamilton, ON L8P 2E7
tel: 905-522-0602905-522-0602

The church office is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. until noon.

To contact us by email click here.

Our privacy policy is available here.