EEK! Essential Episcopal Knowledge
E.D. Hirsch wrote a book with about 5000 items which he thought every American should know to be culturally literate.
So we are going to offer 1000 points for Episcopal Cultural Literacy which will be knowledge about the Bible, Church History, Liturgy and the Episcopal Church. Warning! The order is not serial; it is ad hoc. Test your "literacy!"
Disclaimer: All EEK should be a part one's developing relationship with God in Christ. All EEK is but to support this life adventure.
1-What does Episcopal mean?
A: “Having bishops” from the Greek word for “over seer” =episkopoi
2-What is a Sacrament?
A: A rite in the church defined as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace.”
3-What are the seven Sacraments?
A: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Reconciliation of a Penitent, Prayer for the Sick and Ordination.
4-What is a dominical sacrament and which sacraments are dominical?
A: Dominical means, “commanded by our Lord” and Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist are dominical sacraments.
5-What is a Pastoral sacrament? Which sacraments are pastoral?
A:Pastoral refers to the type of care in the church inspired by Christ as the Good Shepherd. Pastoral Sacraments are Confirmation, Ordination, Matrimony, Prayer for the Sick and Reconciliation of a Penitent?
6-What’s another older name for Reconciliation of a Penitent?
A: Private Confession
7-What are some other names for Holy Eucharist?
A: The Mass, Holy Communion, The Divine Liturgy, The Last Supper, The Lord’s Table, The Breaking of Bread
8-What is a Creed?
A: A Creed is an official confessional statement about what the church believes as essential to the expression of our faith.
9-Which Creeds does the Episcopal Church use?
A: The Nicene Creed and The Apostles Creed
10-What is the Nicene Creed?
A: A statement of Christian belief established in 325 in Nicaea at a gathering of bishops from around the world. The Emperor Constantine asked the bishops to gather to standardize the Christian faith to avoid disunity in the Roman Empire.
11-When do we use the Nicene Creed?
A: After the sermon at Holy Eucharist.
12-What is the Apostles Creed?
A: It is a more ancient statement of belief believed to be handed on from the time of the Apostles and used for people to profess their faith before being baptized.
13-When do we use the Apostles Creed in the Episcopal Church?
A: At Morning and Evening Prayer and at funerals, and in question and answer form in the vows at Holy Baptism.
14-What is the Trinity?
A: The Trinity is the Christian belief that God is known to us to be as One God but in Trinity of Persons.
15-Who are the members of the Trinity?
A: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
16-What is the Bible?
A: The Bible is the official Holy Book of the Christian Church. Bible comes from the Greek “Ta Biblia” meanings the Books. The Bible is a collection of books which span from the earliest written records of the Hebrew people and extend through the writings of the leaders of the early Christian communities.
17-What are the sections of the Bible used in the Episcopal Church?
A: The Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament, The Apocrypha (writings in centuries just before Christ) and the New Testament.
18-What is included in the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament?
A: The Torah, called the Law or the Pentateuch, The Prophets, and the Writings.
19-What is the Apocrypha?
A: These are writings in Judaism in the last centuries before Christ. Many may have been written in Greek and show the influences of Greek thinking. They were later rejected by the Jews as being suitable to include in their Holy Book. They were included by early Christians who were familiar with them by their inclusion in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
20-What is the New Testament
A: Testament means covenant or the belief of God’s Contract with humanity on faithful living. The New Testament presents Jesus Christ as the founder of the the Covenant between God and humanity. The New Testament consists of four Gospels or narratives of the life of Jesus, the Acts of the Apostles as an early account of missionary journeys, and the Epistles or writings of instructions by St. Paul and other leaders for churches in various locations.
21-What are the four Gospel?
A: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
22-Who has the most writings in the New Testament?
A: St. Paul
23-When do Episcopalian read from the Bible?
A: In the assigned readings each day for Morning and Evening Prayer and on Sundays for the Holy Eucharist. Episcopalians are encouraged to read the Bible for personal study as a discipline.
24-What is a lectionary?
A: A lectionary is a list of assigned Bible readings which gives a reading program to read through a significant portion of the Bible in a two year cycle for Morning and Evening Prayer and a three year cycle for the weekly Holy Eucharist.
25-What are the seasons of the Church year?
A: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost
26-What word do we refrain from saying in Lent?
27-What are the four orders of ministry in the church?
A: Bishop, Priest, Deacon, Laity
28-How does one become a member of the laity?
A: Through Baptism
29-What does a bishop symbolize?
A: A bishop connects us with the church of the past and with others members of our church who live in other places.
30-What does a bishop do?
A: A bishop is the chief pastor of a diocese.
31-What is a diocese?
A: A diocese is a geographical area something like a State is a geographical area within our country.
32-What diocese is St. John the Divine, Morgan Hill, located in?
A: The Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real
33-Who is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real?
A: The Right Reverend Mary Gray-Reeves
34-What is a Cathedral?
A: A Cathedral is a church building with the official “seat” or “chair” of the bishop. Cathedra means seat
35-What does the word Catholic mean?
A: Catholic means “on the whole” and it refers to unity of all Christian. This unity was expressed when all of the bishops of the church around the world met in the great councils of the church.
36-Is the Episcopal Church a catholic church?
A: It is catholic in that we state this belief in the Apostles Creed, “I believe in the one holy apostolic and catholic church.
37-Is the Episcopal Church a Roman Catholic Church?
A: No, the Roman Catholic Church is organized around the leadership of the chief Bishop of Rome, who is called the Pope. The Episcopal Church is a part of a worldwide church body called the Anglican Communion.
38-Who is the chief bishop of the Anglican Communion?
A: The chief bishop of the Anglican Communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop of Canterbury is also the chief Pastor of the Church of England.
39-Why isn’t The Episcopal Church a part of the Church of England?
A: After the American Revolution, the American citizenry were no long subjects of the King of England who was also Defender of the Church of England. The American members of the Church of England who decided to help form a new country and government in America also formed what became The Episcopal Church. As the Episcopal Church we had b priests but they no longer expressed allegiance to the monarch of England.
40-Who was the first bishop in the United States?
A: Bishop Samuel Seabury
41-Where did Bishop Seabury become ordained as a bishop?
A: He was ordained in Scotland because he could not be ordained by the Church of England because the bishops in the United States could not make an oath of loyalty to the King.
42-What does Protestant mean?
A: Protestant refers to a group of Christians throughout Europe who wanted to reform and change some of the practices which they found in the Roman Catholic Church.
43-What are the names of some of the most famous Protestant Reformers?
A: Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Hus, Huldrych Zwingli
44-What are some of the names of the churches which began during the Protestant Reformation?
A: Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Mennonite
45-Is the Episcopal Church a Protestant Church?
A: Yes, but we are also called the Middle Way. We are both Protestant and Catholic because our identity has been formed by elements of both.
46-How is the Episcopal Church Protestant?
A: We came from the Anglican Church which was influenced by important practices of the Protestant Reformers, like reading, praying and preaching in the languages of the people who would come to pray, instead of the one liturgical language used by the Roman Catholic Church which was Latin. The Anglican Church was formed by emphasizing the study and the importance of the Scripture in establishing our beliefs. The Anglican Church believed that new practices did not have valid authority which had occurred after the time of the formation of New Testament writing during the time of early church leaders called the Church Fathers.
47-What disagreements did the Anglican Church have with the Roman Catholic Church?
A: The permission to use English for the prayers instead of the required Latin. The concentration of too much church authority in the person of the Pope. Mandatory celibacy for priests. Certain beliefs about the afterlife and about the role of the Virgin Mary which could not be found in the Bible. An understanding of salvation as a gift of grace rather than the works of human merit.
48-What is a deacon?
A: A deacon is an ordained minister of the church who is called to make the church aware of our duty to serve people in need. Deacon means “servant.” A deacon is under the administration of a bishop.
49-What does a deacon do?
A: A deacon serves people in need on behalf of the church. A deacon leads the prayers of the people, reads the Gospel and sets up the altar for communion and administers the chalice.
50-What is a priest?
A: The word for priest in the New Testament was “presbyteros” which means elder. The “presbyteros” would preside at the breaking of the bread. After the Temple was destroyed in Jerusalem in the year 70, some of the priestly habits were taken over by Christian priests, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist. Many Protestant churches removed the “priestly” ministry of the Eucharist in favor of having their leaders as pastors and preachers.
51-What does it mean to be a priest?
A: It means that one intercedes. It means in prayer we ask God on behalf of other people. Everyone is like a priest when they pray for others, but the Episcopal has “official” priests to remind us that the main role of the entire church is to pray for the people of this world and priests at the Eucharist remember that the life of Jesus was offered on behalf of the world.
52-Why do some people get baptized as infants and others as adult?
A: It depends upon the life circumstances of each person.
53-Why does The Episcopal Church baptize infants if they cannot understand what is happening to them?
A: Because the New Testament writers wrote about household baptisms. Because baptism came from baptism in Judaism and when non-Jews converted to Judaism, entire families would be baptized. Because Jesus said the kingdom of God belonged to children. Because Christian families raise their children as though they are always children of God in preparation for them becoming adults who will always learn more about being a child of God.
54-Why does The Episcopal Church confirm members?
A: Confirmation is related to baptism. It is a rite of maturation when a person decides to “confirm” or agree with the promises which were made on his or her behalf when baptized as an infant.
55-Why is confirmation done by a bishop in the Episcopal Church?
A: Confirmation is like an official welcome by the chief pastor of the diocese. It is both a personal and official welcome into a fuller participation in the Episcopal Church by the head of a diocesan family.
56-Are there fifty dioceses in The Episcopal Church just as there are fifty states in the U.S.A. ?
A: No, there are more than fifty dioceses. California has six dioceses: California, Northern California, El Camino Real, San Joaquin, Los Angeles and San Diego.
57-What are the poetic verses in the Hebrew Scriptures which are said or chanted at nearly every liturgy of our Church?
A: The Psalms
58-Which Psalm begins with “The Lord is my Shepherd?”
A: Psalm 23
59-What famous king is associated with the Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
A: King David who began his early boyhood years taking care of his family’s flock of sheep.
60-Why are David and Goliath famous?
A: David the shepherd boy defeated the tall Philistine giant warrior by hitting him in the head with a rock from his sling.
61-Which famous prophet was seen riding into heaven on a chariot of fire?
61-Who was the famous man who was told to build a big boat because a big flood was coming?
62-Which prophet ran away from God and ended up spending three nights in the belly of a big fish or whale?
63-Who is the most famous suffering person in Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament?
A: Job, who proved that suffering does happen to good people.
64-What is the most famous cry of Job which is included in Handel’s Messiah?
A: “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”
65-Who was the chief musician attributed in many of the Psalms?
66-What does messiah mean?
A: Messiah comes from the Hebrew “mashiach” and refers to the way in which the first kings of Israel were made kings. It means “anointed one” because olive oil was poured on the head of God’s chosen king as a rite of recognition.
67-Who were the first messiahs?
A: King Saul and King David were anointed with the horn of oil by God’s representative Samuel who was a judge in Israel.
68-Why was the idea of a messiah important during the time of Jesus?
A: Israel as a country which suffered because of bad kings and being conquered by other countries wished, prayed, and dreamed about another anointed leader who would be like David and be God’s chosen one to deliver Israel.
69-Why do Christians call Jesus the Messiah?
A: Christ or Christos in the Greek language means Messiah or God’s anointed one.
70-How can Jesus be a Messiah if he was not an earthly king like David who would bring freedom for Israel?
A: Christians believed that Jesus was a messiah because another idea of the messiah was a suffering servant. Christians believe that the return of Christ in the future will be more like David who brings peace and justice to the world. This idea of messiah means that we always look for leaders who will bring peace and justice.
71-Who are the Patriarchs of the Old Testament?
A: The Patriarchs are figures from the ancient stories of the people of Israel. They are people like Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
72-Who were the three sons of Noah?
A: Shem, Ham and Japheth
73-Why are Jews and Arabs called Semites?
A-Because they are said to have descended from Shem, son of Noah
74-What is the Old Testament story which recounts the reason that we have so many languages?
A: The Tower of Babel
75-How did the people of Israel get their name?
A: Jacob got his name changed to Israel when he wrestled with an angel. From the sons of Jacob (Israel) came the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
76-How did the people of Israel become slaves in the land of Egypt?
A: Jacob’s son Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. During a drought Jacob brought his family to Egypt where Joseph had ascended to power. When Egypt forgot about Joseph, the power of the minority Israelites threatened the Pharaoh and the Israelites were made into slaves.
77-Why is Moses called the “prince of Egypt?”
A: He escaped the infanticide inflicted on Hebrew male children by being rescued and raised by an Egyptian princess. Later Moses reconnected with his people to lead them out of Egypt.
78-What was the name of the father in law of Moses?
79-What were the 10 plagues inflicted upon Egypt before Israel escaped the country?
A: Water into blood, Lice, Flies, Diseased livestock, boils, hail and fire storms, locusts, darkness, death of first born.
80-Who was Moses’ brother?
81-What distinction did Aaron have?
A: The founding person of the Levitical priesthood, being from the tribe of Levi
82-Who was Moses’ sister?
A: Miriam, famous for her Song of Praise on the defeat of the Egyptians
83-How did Israel escape from the pursuing Egyptian army?
A: They crossed the Red Sea when the waters parted.
84-How many years did the people of Israel wander in the wilderness?
A: 40 years
85-Who was the most famous Patriarch who Paul used to establish the valid faith experience of Gentile Christian?
86-Who was Abraham’s first son?
A: Ishmael, whose mother was Hagar, a maid servant of Abraham’s wife.
87-What happened to Ishmael?
A: He became the Patriarch of the Arabs.
88-Who was Abraham’s wife?
89-Who was Abraham’s second son but preferred son of the covenant?
90-What does the name Isaac mean?
A: “laughter” because Sarah laughed when God’s messenger told Abraham that she would have a son in her old age.
91-Who is the oldest person listed in the Old Testament and how old was he?
A: Methuselah was 969 years.
92-What was the name of Isaac’s wife?
93-What was the name of Abraham’s nephew?
94-What two cities is Lot associated with?
A: Sodom and Gomorrah
95-Why is Lot’s wife famous?
A: She turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as they were being destroyed by fire and brimstone.
96- How did the people of Israel survive in the wilderness for 40 years?
A: They ate a special bread that fell from the sky called Manna. They also ate quails.
97-What does Manna mean?
A: It is from the Hebrew meaning “what’s that?” which was the reaction of the people when they first saw it.
98-What happened on Mount Sinai?
A: Moses went up alone to receive the laws of God written on stone tablets.
99-Why were there two sets of stone tablets of the law?
A: Moses in anger broke the first set when he saw that the people had built a golden calf to worship while he was on Mt. Sinai. Moses had to return for God to make another copy.
100-What is the best known part of the law called?
A-The Ten Commandments or The Decalogue