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Christianity A to Z : E

A complete dictionary of common terms used in Christianity.

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squares Encyclical

A letter sent out by the Pope, usually on a matter of Roman Catholic doctrine. Encyclicals may be issued either to all or to the clergy. See also the entry for Bull.

squares Epiphany

Greek: 'An appearing'. A feast day held on 6th January. In the Orthodox church it marks a rememberance of the birth of Christ. In the west, it usually is to held to remember the visit of the Wise Men (or 'Magi') to Jesus:

"... When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."
Matthew 2:9-12 (KJV)

squares Exile

The period from 586 to 538 B.C. when the Jewish people were in captivity in Babylon.

squares Extreme Unction

The former name for the sacrament now known as Anointing of the Sick.

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