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Glossary of Religion Terms
beginning with letter P
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palingenesis Tweet Definition of palingenesis Like Definition of palingenesis on Facebook
noun (plural:palingeneses, pronounced /-ˌsiz/)
  1. (biology) The apparent repetition, during the development of a single embryo, of changes that occurred previously in the evolution of its species.
  2. (Christian theology) Spiritual rebirth through the transmigration of the soul in Christian baptism.
Palmer Tweet Definition of Palmer Like Definition of Palmer on Facebook
proper noun
  1. An English surname, of Old French origin, for someone who had been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and brought back a palm branch as proof
Palm Sunday Tweet Definition of Palm Sunday Like Definition of Palm Sunday on Facebook
  1. The Sunday before Easter, commemorating Christ's entry into Jerusalem, when palm fronds were strewn before him.
papacy Tweet Definition of papacy Like Definition of papacy on Facebook
noun (papac, ies)
  1. The office of the pope.
The represents the head of the Catholic Church.
  1. The period of a particular pope's reign.
The of John Paul II ended in 2005, after the pope's long battle with illness ended.
papal Tweet Definition of papal Like Definition of papal on Facebook
  1. Having to do with the pope or the papacy.
paraclete Tweet Definition of paraclete Like Definition of paraclete on Facebook
  1. an advocate, especially the Holy Spirit
  • 1963: He passed a block of bright posters. One of them extolled domestic gas: a smiling toy called Mr Therm presided over a sort of warm Holy Family. " Anthony Burgess, Inside Mr Enderby
  • 1963: The matter of a Paraclete"s coming, the comforter, the dove; the tongues of flame, the gift of tongues: Pentecost. Third Person of the Trinity. " Thomas Pynchon, V.
  • parish Tweet Definition of parish Like Definition of parish on Facebook
    1. In the Anglican and Roman Catholic church, an administrative part of a diocese that has its own church.
    2. The community attending that church; the members of the parish.
    3. A civil subdivision of a British county, often corresponding to an earlier ecclesiastical parish.
    4. An administrative subdivision in Louisiana that is equivalent to a county in other U.S. states.
    parish house Tweet Definition of parish house Like Definition of parish house on Facebook
    1. a rectory or vicarage
    parish register Tweet Definition of parish register Like Definition of parish register on Facebook
    1. A book, held in a parish church, in which baptisms, marriages and burials are recorded.
    parousia Tweet Definition of parousia Like Definition of parousia on Facebook
    1. the second coming of Christ
    parson Tweet Definition of parson Like Definition of parson on Facebook
    1. An Anglican cleric having full legal control of a parish under ecclesiastical law; a rector
    2. A Protestant minister
    parsonage Tweet Definition of parsonage Like Definition of parsonage on Facebook
    1. A house provided by the church for a parson, vicar or rector.
    particle Tweet Definition of particle Like Definition of particle on Facebook
    1. A body with very small size; a fragment.
    2. (physics) An elementary particle or subatomic particle.
    3. (linguistics) A word that has a particular grammatical function but does not obviously belong to any particular part of speech, such as the word to in English infinitives.
    Pasch Tweet Definition of Pasch Like Definition of Pasch on Facebook
    1. (archaic) Easter
    2. (archaic) Passover
    paschal Tweet Definition of paschal Like Definition of paschal on Facebook
    1. of, or related to Easter
    passional Tweet Definition of passional Like Definition of passional on Facebook
    1. a book describing sufferings of martyrs
    1. characterized by passion
    Passion Sunday Tweet Definition of Passion Sunday Like Definition of Passion Sunday on Facebook
    1. The fifth Sunday in Lent, the second Sunday before Easter, the first day in Passiontide.
    Passiontide Tweet Definition of Passiontide Like Definition of Passiontide on Facebook
    1. The period in the Christian calendar from Passion Sunday to Holy Saturday.
      • "The last two weeks of Lent form the season called Passiontide. During this time all crucifixes and sacred images are veiled in violet. In Masses of the season, the psalm Judica me is not said at the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, and there is no Gloria Patri at the Introit or at the Lavabo".
      • - 43k
      • sermons/Parish/PassiontideandWarBM23?.3.03.html - 13k
    pastor Tweet Definition of pastor Like Definition of pastor on Facebook
    1. The minister or priest of a Christian church.
    pastoral Tweet Definition of pastoral Like Definition of pastoral on Facebook
    1. A poem describing the life and manners of shepherds; a poem in which the speakers assume the character of shepherds; an idyl; a bucolic.
    2. Music: A cantata relating to rural life; a composition for instruments characterized by simplicity and sweetness; a lyrical composition the subject of which is taken from rural life. Moore
    3. Ecclesiastics: A letter of a pastor to his charge; specifically, a letter addressed by a bishop to his diocese; also (Prot. Epis. Ch.), a letter of the House of Bishops, to be read in each parish.
    1. Of or pertaining to shepherds; hence, relating to rural life and scenes; as, a pastoral life.
    • He wanders west as far as Memphis, a solitary migrant upon that flat and landscape. - 1985 w:Cormac McCarthy?, McCarthy?, w:Blood Meridian, Blood Meridian, chapter 1.
      1. Relating to the care of souls, or to the pastor of a church; as, pastoral duties; a pastoral letter.
    pater Tweet Definition of pater Like Definition of pater on Facebook
    noun (Plural: paters)
    1. (formal) father
    paternoster Tweet Definition of paternoster Like Definition of paternoster on Facebook
    1. The Lord's prayer, especially in a Roman Catholic context.
    Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
    1. An slow, continuously moving lift or elevator consisting of a loop of open fronted cabins running the height of a building. The moving compartment is entered at one level and left when the desired level is reached. Found in some university libraries.
    patriarch Tweet Definition of patriarch Like Definition of patriarch on Facebook
    1. A male leader of a family, a tribe or an ethnic or religious group.
    2. A founder of a political or religious movement, an organization or an enterprise.
    3. Abraham, his son Isaac or his grandson Jacob. see Wikipedia
    4. (Christianity) The highest form of bishop, generally in charge of an ethnic community, but in terms of the pope and the ecumenical patriarch, the former is the Patriarch of the West and the latter is the Patriarch of the East, a divison dating to the Emperor Constantine the Great. The cities of Antioch, Alexandria, and almost as an afterthought, Jerusalem are accorded equal historical if not ecclesial dignity. Any and all other patriarchs, particularly that of the Russian church, are inferior.
    5. (Bible Dictionary) Patriarch is an ordained office in the Melchizedek Priesthood. The fathers from Adam to Jacob were all patriarchs of this kind. The word as used in the Bible seems to denote also a title of honor to early leaders of the Israelites, such as David (Acts 2:29) and the 12 sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8-9). The word is of Greek derivation and means father-ruler; the Hebrew translation simply means father.
    patriarchate Tweet Definition of patriarchate Like Definition of patriarchate on Facebook
    1. The term of office of a Christian patriarch.
    The patriarchate of Pope John Paul II, as Patriarch of the West was more than 25 years.
    1. The ecclesial jurisdiction of such a patriarch.
    The Eucumenical Patriarch has jurisdiction over the whole of the Orthodox world.
    1. The office-space occupied by a patriarch and his staff.
    The Latin patriarchate in Jerusalem is, by modern standards, a very cramped space.
    patron Tweet Definition of patron Like Definition of patron on Facebook
    noun (wikipedia, Patronage, Patron (supporter))
    1. a supporter
    2. a customer
    3. a property owner who hires a contractor for construction works
    4. an influential, wealthy person who supported an artist, craftsman, a scholar or a noble.
    patron saint Tweet Definition of patron saint Like Definition of patron saint on Facebook
    1. A saint from whom a specific group claims special protection or prayers
    pax Tweet Definition of pax Like Definition of pax on Facebook
    1. (informal) passenger or passengers
    penance Tweet Definition of penance Like Definition of penance on Facebook
    1. A voluntary self-imposed punishment for a sinful act.
    penitence Tweet Definition of penitence Like Definition of penitence on Facebook
    1. The condition of being penitent
    2. A feeling of regret or remorse for doing wrong or sinning
    penitent Tweet Definition of penitent Like Definition of penitent on Facebook
    1. One who repents of sin; one sorrowful on account of his transgressions.
    2. One under church censure, but admitted to penance; one undergoing penance.
      • 1837, William Russell, The History of Modern Europe: with an Account of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Longman, Rees, & Co., page 20,
      • :Wamba, who defeated the Saracens in an attempt upon Spain, was deprived of the crown, because he had been clothed in the habit of a , while labouring under the influence of poison, administered by the ambitious Erviga!
      • One under the direction of a confessor.
    1. Feeling pain or sorrow on account of sins or offenses; repentant; contrite; sincerely affected by a sense of guilt, and resolved on amendment of life.
      • 1838, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, B. Blake, page 730,
      • : If thou be and grieved, or desirous to be so, these heinous sins shall not be laid to thy charge.
      • Doing penance.
    penitential Tweet Definition of penitential Like Definition of penitential on Facebook
    1. Pertaining to penance or penitence
    penitentiary Tweet Definition of penitentiary Like Definition of penitentiary on Facebook
    noun (penitentiaries)
    1. A state or federal prison for convicted felons.
    2. (Roman Catholic Church) A priest who administers the sacrament of penance.
    1. of, or related to penance; penitential
    2. of, or relating to the punishment of criminals
    Pentecost Tweet Definition of Pentecost Like Definition of Pentecost on Facebook
    proper noun
    1. A Jewish festival (also known as Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks) seven weeks after the feast of Firstfruits or Yom Habikkurim, originally a harvest festival but, since the destruction of the Temple, also commemorating the anniversary of the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai. See w:Shavuot, Wikipedia article on Shavuot for further information on, and chronology of, these feasts.
      • 1611: Bible, King James version, Acts of the Apostles 2:1 - And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
      • 1854: Walter Farquhar Hook, A Church Dictionary - The first lesson for the morning contains the law of the Jewish , or Feast of Weeks, which was a type of ours.
      • 2005: Alfred J Kolatch, A Handbook for the Jewish Home - Because Shavuot is celebrated on the fiftieth day after the advent of Passover, it has been called , a Greek word meaning "fiftieth day".
        1. The particular (Jewish) Pentecost 49 days (inclusive) after the resurrection of Jesus on the (Jewish) Day of First Fruits, when (in Christian teaching) the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles with miraculous effects including the ability to explain the Gospel intelligibly in languages they did not know; or a similar occasion since.
      • 1762: Voltaire, William Vade included in Works - He spoke either Latin or Welsh; and the Sicambri spoke the antient Teutonic. Remi, in all appearance, renewed the miracle of the : Et unusquisquis intendebat linguam suam, And each understood his own language.
      • 1786: Joseph Priestley, An History of Early Opinions Concerning Jesus Christ: Compiled from Original Writers; Proving that the Christian Church was at first Unitarian - If it be supposed that the divinity of Christ was unknown to the apostles till the day of ... we have no account of any such discovery having been made.
      • 2005: Frank J Lechner, John Boli, World Culture: Origins and Consequences - They think a new is afoot, in which the Holy Spirit brings millions the good news of salvation in the hereafter and real blessings in the here and now.
        1. Christian festival (also known as Whitsun or Whitsunday), which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (see above definition).
      • 1797: Richard Burn, Simon Fraser, Ecclesiastical Law - Spiritual profits, commonly called whitsun-farthings, ... offered at the time of pentecost.
      • 2005: Edward Kessler, Neil Wenborn (editors), A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations - Shavuot is linked to Passover in the same way that is linked to Easter, by a period of seven weeks.
      • 2006: Alister E McGrath?, Christianity: An Introduction - The specific event which is commemorated at is the coming of the Holy Spirit, which is described in the Acts of the Apostles.
    Pentecostal Tweet Definition of Pentecostal Like Definition of Pentecostal on Facebook
    1. a member of a Pentecostal church
    1. of, or relating to Pentecost
    2. of, or relating to a Christian religious movement that emphasizes the Holy Spirit
    perdition Tweet Definition of perdition Like Definition of perdition on Facebook
    1. eternal damnation
    2. hell
    3. absolute ruin
    perdurable Tweet Definition of perdurable Like Definition of perdurable on Facebook
    1. very durable; longlasting
    pericope Tweet Definition of pericope Like Definition of pericope on Facebook
    1. A section of text, especially a passage of Scripture to be read in public worship.
    The reader looked up the Sunday morning .
    The oldest know system of pericopes in the Western Church is ascribed to Jerome.
    perseverance Tweet Definition of perseverance Like Definition of perseverance on Facebook
    1. persistent determination to adhere to a course of action; insistence
      • 2004: w: Chris Wallace (journalist), Chris Wallace, Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage
      • :It had taken nine years from the evening that w:Harry Truman, Truman first showed up with a pie plate at her mother's door, but his dogged eventually won him the hand of his boyhood Sunday school crush.
    person Tweet Definition of person Like Definition of person on Facebook
    noun (plural:persons, people (by suppletion))
    1. Human being; individual.
    2. Specific human being.
    Where is the ?
    1. The physical body of a specified individual.
    Meanwhile, the dazed Sullivan, dressed like a bum with no identification on his , is arrested and put to work on a brutal Southern chain gang. " New York Times, 2004
    1. Any individual or formal organization with standing before the courts.
    By common law a corporation or a trust is legally a .
    1. (grammar) A linguistic category used to distinguish between the speaker of an utterance and those to whom or about whom he is speaking. See grammatical person.
    persuasion Tweet Definition of persuasion Like Definition of persuasion on Facebook
    1. The act of persuade, persuading or the state of being persuaded.
    2. The art of persuade, persuading.
    It will require a master of to change his mind.
    1. A strongly held conviction, opinion or belief.
    It is his that abortion should never be condoned.
    1. (context, colloquial, of a person) A sort, type, or kind with respect to convictions and beliefs.
    You will find people of any among Wiktionarians.
    pew Tweet Definition of pew Like Definition of pew on Facebook
    1. One of the long benches in a church, seating several persons, usually fixing to the floor and facing the chancel.
    2. An enclosed compartment in a church which provides seating for a group of people, often a prominent family.
    At St. Patrick"s Cathedral, firefighters in dress blues and white gloves escorted families to the pews for a memorial service, led by Mr. Bloomberg, to honor the 343 Fire Department employees killed on 9/11. — New York Times
    phylactery Tweet Definition of phylactery Like Definition of phylactery on Facebook
    noun (phylacteries)
    1. Any small object worn for its magical or supernatural power; an amulet or charm.
    pietism Tweet Definition of pietism Like Definition of pietism on Facebook
    1. a movement in the Lutheran church in the 17th and 18th centuries
    Pilgrim Tweet Definition of Pilgrim Like Definition of Pilgrim on Facebook
    proper noun (Pilgrims)
    1. A settler of the w:Plymouth Colony, Plymouth Colony. Usually used in plural.
    pilgrimage Tweet Definition of pilgrimage Like Definition of pilgrimage on Facebook
    1. A journey made to a sacred place, or a religious journey.
    In the Muslim faith, the to Mecca is known as the Hajj.
    1. (context, by extension) A visit to any site revered or associated with a meaningful event.
    Each year we made a to New York City to visit the pub where we all first met.
    piscina Tweet Definition of piscina Like Definition of piscina on Facebook
    1. A drained basin near a church's altar for the disposal of water from liturgical ablutions.
    placebo Tweet Definition of placebo Like Definition of placebo on Facebook
    noun (pl2=placeboes)
    1. (pharmacology) A dummy medicine containing no active ingredients; an inert treatment.
    2. Anything of no real benefit which nevertheless makes people feel better.
    platform Tweet Definition of platform Like Definition of platform on Facebook
    1. A raised stage from which speeches are made and songs are sung.
    2. A political stance on a broad set of issues, which are called planks.
    3. A raised structure from which passengers can enter or leave a train.
    4. (automobiles) A set of components shared by several vehicle models.
    5. (computing) A particular type of operating system or environment such as a database or other specific software, and/or a particular type of computer or microprocessor, used to describe a particular environment for running other software, or for defining a specific software or hardware environment for discussion purposes.
    That program runs on an X-Window-System .
    Typical PCs use the x86 .''
    pneuma Tweet Definition of pneuma Like Definition of pneuma on Facebook
    1. (music) a neume
    • 1922: With swaying arms they wail in over the recreant Bloom. " James Joyce, Ulysses
      1. the spirit or soul
    pneumatic Tweet Definition of pneumatic Like Definition of pneumatic on Facebook
    1. (gnosticism) In gnostic theologian Valentinus' triadic grouping of man the highest type; a person focused on spiritual reality (the other two being hylic and psychic).
    1. Of, or related to air or other gases
    2. Of, or related to pneumatics
    3. Powered by, or filled with compressed air
    4. (zoology) Having cavities filled with air
    5. Spiritual; Of, or related to the pneuma
    6. (context, of a woman) well-rounded; full-breasted; bouncy (especially during sex)
    "Every one says I'm awfully pneumatic," said Lenina reflectively, patting her own legs. - Aldous Huxley - Brave New World (chapter 6)
    polemics Tweet Definition of polemics Like Definition of polemics on Facebook
    1. The practice of making arguments or controversies
    2. The refutation of errors in theological doctrine
    pontifical Tweet Definition of pontifical Like Definition of pontifical on Facebook
    1. The office of a pontiff
    2. (in plural) The vestments of a bishop
    3. a pontiff
    4. a pontifical mass
    1. of or pertaining to a pontiff
    1. of or pertaining to a bishop; episcopal
    2. of or pertaining to a pope; papal
      1. pompous, dignified or dogmatic
      2. of or pertaining to the pontifices of Ancient Rome
    pontificate Tweet Definition of pontificate Like Definition of pontificate on Facebook
    1. The state or term of office of a pontiff or pontifex.
    verb (pontificat, ed)
    1. (intransitive) To preside as a bishop, especially at mass.
    2. (intransitive) To act like a pontiff; to be pompous, or express one's position as if it is absolutely correct.
    3. (intransitive) To speak in a patronizing, supercilious or pompous manner, especially at length.
    Pope Tweet Definition of Pope Like Definition of Pope on Facebook
    proper noun (wikipedia, Alexander Pope)
    1. An English surname
    2. Alexander Pope, English poet
    porter Tweet Definition of porter Like Definition of porter on Facebook
    1. A person who carries luggage and related objects.
    By the time I reached the train station I was exhausted, but fortunately there was a porter waiting.
    1. In the bowling industry, an employee who clears and cleans tables and puts bowling balls away.
    2. A strong, dark ale, originally favored by porters, similar to a stout but less strong.
    3. (Ireland) Another name for stout.
    power Tweet Definition of power Like Definition of power on Facebook
    1. Physical force or strength.
    2. Control and influence over another entity and its actions.
    He exerted his upon his subordinates to obtain illicit, personal satisfaction.
    The party has won thanks to the influence of its charismatic leader.
    1. (physics) A measure of the rate of doing work or transferring energy.
    2. (physics) A rate to magnify an optical image by a lens or mirror.
    3. (Biblical tradition) in Christian angelology, the fourth level of angels, ranked above archangels and below principality, principalities
    4. (mathematics) A product of equal factors. Notation and usage: xn, read as "x to the power of " or "x to the th power", denotes x × x × ... × x, in which x appears times, where is called the exponent; the definition is extended to non-integer and complex exponents.
    5. Electricity supply.
    6. A nation having a strong military and/or economy.
    7. (settheory) Cardinality.
    1. (transitive) To provide power for (a mechanical or electronic device).
    p.p. Tweet Definition of p.p. Like Definition of p.p. on Facebook
    1. (grammar): past participle
    practitioner Tweet Definition of practitioner Like Definition of practitioner on Facebook
    1. A person who practices a profession or art.
    prayer beads Tweet Definition of prayer beads Like Definition of prayer beads on Facebook
    1. A string of beads used by members of various religions to count prayers, chants or devotions.
    prayer book Tweet Definition of prayer book Like Definition of prayer book on Facebook
    1. A book containing religious prayers
    2. (when capitalized) The Book of Common Prayer
    3. (nautical) A small holystone
    Preacher Tweet Definition of Preacher Like Definition of Preacher on Facebook
    proper noun
    1. Other name for Ecclesiastes, the twenty-first book of the Old Testament.
    prebendary Tweet Definition of prebendary Like Definition of prebendary on Facebook
    noun (prebendar, ies)
    1. an honorary canon of a cathedral or collegiate church
    1. pertaining to the office or person of a prebendary; prebendal
    • 1992: This is at least a third of the way up the career path to being a saint. Conscientious men (and women for that matter) often hear a sort of susurration in their ears when they achieve this status. " Will Self, Cock and Bull
    precentor Tweet Definition of precentor Like Definition of precentor on Facebook
    1. the person who directs the music and choral services in a cathedral or in a monastery
    preface Tweet Definition of preface Like Definition of preface on Facebook
    noun (pl. prefaces)
    1. The beginning or introductory portion that comes before the main text of a document or book.
      The book included a brief by a leading expert in the field.
    1. To introduce or make a comment before the main point.
      Let me this by saying that I don't know him that well.