Glossary S – Z


A technical term for the calendar of holy days, on which different saints (and some particular events in the gospel story) are remembered on specific dates. Normally a saint is remembered on the date of their death. The sanctorale runs alongside the temporale (q.v.).


A technical term for the cycle of seasons through the church’s year. These seasons move somewhat from year to year and are keyed to the dates of Christmas and Easter. The temporale runs alongside the sanctorale (q.v.).
The Jewish term for the first five books of the Bible, the word means “instruction” or “teaching”. When Jews began to speak Greek, they used a Greek word meaning law to translate this, and English has followed. Hence these books have traditionally been called the Law of Moses. They certainly contain a lot of laws, but there is an awful lot of story, a fair few genealogies, and the occasional poem. These five books are also often referred to as the Pentateuch. It is the only section of the scriptures that has exactly the same content in exactly the same order in Christian and Jewish Bibles.



A large square of coloured and often embroidered cloth that was traditionally tented over the chalice and paten when they are standing on the altar before and after the liturgy of the sacrament. The veil makes a matching set with the burse (q.v.), and they are in the liturgical colour of the day




Year A, Year B, Year C
The main lectionary is organised over a three year cycle. Each year has a dominant gospel that provides the main sequence of readings, especially in Ordinary Time, Matthew (A), Mark (B) and Luke (C). John’s gospel is read especially in the main seasons.