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Easter – the annual celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The Easter Season lasts from Easter Sunday to Pentecost.

Easter Proclamation – see Exsultet

Easter Vigil – the most important celebration of Easter that takes place during the night of Holy Saturday/Easter Sunday. It consists of four parts: the lighting of fire and the Easter Candle, a vigil of Readings, Baptism, the Eucharist.

Ecclesiastical – a word referring to the church, from the Greek word, ‘ecclessia.’

Ecumenical – a word used to refer to the working together for Unity between all believers in Christ. The word actually comes from a Greek word meaning ‘the whole inhabited world.’

Elizabeth – the cousin of Mary, the mother of John the Baptist.

Epiphany – the annual celebration of the visit of the Magi to Jesus. The word ‘Epiphany’ means manifestation because it marks the showing of Jesus to the whole world. The Magi (also popularly known as wise men or kings) brought gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense.

Episcopacy/Episcopal – referring to bishops - from the Greek word ‘episcopus’

Episcopal Church – refers to churches that have bishops, but more specifically a title given to churches within the Anglican Church, such as the Episcopal Church of Scotland and the Episcopal Church of the United States.

Epistle - a letter. There are various letters (or epistles) in the New Testament. Many, though not all, of them were written by St Paul. Some were written to church communities; others were written to individuals.

Eternal Life – Christians believe that we are made to live with God forever in Christ. Eternal Life is knowing the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although we know only in part now, one day we will know God in all his fullness.

Eucharist – see Holy Eucharist

Eucharistic Prayer – the prayer at the heart of the Eucharist, where we thank God for all that he has done, especially through Jesus Christ, and recall the actions of Jesus at the last supper where he took bread, blessed it, broke it and shared. It is sometimes called ‘The prayer of Consecration’ because through this prayer the bread and wine of the Eucharist are blessed or consecrated to be the body and blood of Christ.

Evangelist – ‘a proclaimer of the Gospel.’ In the New Testament it’s used to describe those who tell others about the good news of Jesus. In another sense it’s used for the four gospel writers of the New Testament. Traditionally, the four evangelists are represented with different symbols: Matthew as a man, Mark as a lion, Luke as an ox and John as an eagle.

Evening Prayer – this is one of the ordered prayers of the day, taking place at the evening hour. Another name for it is Vespers. Evening Prayer and other similar services make up what is know as The Divine Office.

Evensong – a name given to Evening Prayer

Exodus – The second book of the Bible. It tells of the exodus – or freedom – of the Jewish people from the Egyptians by Moses.

Exorcism – this means expelling evil spirits by means of prayers and other rites. It was common among the Jews and pagans and was taken on by the church after Jesus’ example in the New Testament. It can only be carried out by authorised priests with the bishop’s permission. It is also a phrase used in the rites for those preparing for baptism. These baptismal exorcisms do not assume that the person is possessed! They are prayers asking God to restrain the powers of evil.

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament - in many churches the consecrated host (the bread that becomes the body of Christ in the Eucharist) is often shown for people’s devotion. In some churches, the host will be placed in a vessel called a monstrance. The practice is common in Roman Catholic Churches and also a popular devotion for some Anglicans.

Exsultet – the Easter Proclamation that is sung or chanted by the Deacon (or a priest) on Holy Saturday at the beginning of the Easter Vigil and after the Easter (or Paschal) Candle has been carried into the church. The song praises God for the Resurrection of Christ. A recorded version can be found here: http://moleski.net/exultet/index.htm