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The day of Jesus' resurrection. As the "third" day after his death (Friday, Saturday, then Sunday), Easter was celebrated on a Sunday and this made all Sundays for Christians a memorial of that first Easter.

Easter Candle

The large candle, usually by the baptismal font, which represents the light of Christ.

Easter Vigil

The liturgy we celebrate on Holy Saturday evening, the third and most important of the three central liturgies the entire Church year we call the Triduum.

Eastern-Rite Catholics

Catholics who keep the religious customs of the Orthodox Church but who do recognize the pope as head of the Church

Ecumenical Council

The highest level of teaching authority in the Catholic Church; when all the bishops come together with the pope to decide matters of pastoral or doctrinal concern.


Promoting unity among all the different Christian churches and denominations, based on a common practice of baptism, belief in God as Father, Son and Spirit, and that salvation comes through Jesus Christ.


The name given to catechumens who enter the final stage of preparation for full initiation in the Catholic Church.


Wife of Zechariah and a relative of Mary who had no children until she becomes pregnant with John (who will become known as John the Baptizer).


A letter from the pope to the whole Church, which contains pastoral or doctrinal understanding on specific issues to help guide the formation of our conscience.


(pronounced epi-clay-sis) A word which means "laying on of hands."


The feast that celebrates the story of the magi visiting the child Jesus in Bethlehem, bringing him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12).


One of the books of the New Testament attribtued to an apostle.


The sacrament that celebrates a special meal with Jesus. The word means "to give thanks."


The name given to the Church weekly, central gathering in prayer and worship, also called the Mass. The name comes from the Greek meaning "to give thanks" and refers to the whole offering of thanks and praise in the name of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the whole world.

Eucharistic Prayer

A special time at Mass for praising and thanking God.

Evangelical Counsels

The vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience that certain men and women take as a way to live out their baptism and serve the people of God.


Name given to the four writers of the New Testament gospels who by tradition are called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.


The proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus through word and witness, usually not directly but by living a fully committed, public Christian life.


The name given in the Bible to the first woman, wife of Adam, who shares in Adam's sin, desiring to be like God and living by their own decisions on what is good and what is evil. (Genesis 2:18-3:22)

Evening Prayer

The second traditional time of day for Catholics to pray. Also called Vespers, the focus is on thanksgiving-giving God thanks for the day and looking toward a peaceful rest.


Evil is the absence of a good that should be present


To exclude a baptized Christian from taking part in Communion because of a moral behavior that offends against God and the Christian community


The name of the second book of the Bible, which focuses on Moses, the troubles in Egypt, leaving Egypt, being saved and protected by God in the desert, and receiving the 10 Commandments.


When evil is commanded to depart from a person or forbidden to do harm to a person.


One of the major prophets who lived at the time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the sending of people to exile in Babylon (around 586 B.C.).