We continue our examination of Anglican vocabulary. My plan is to examine a word or two to help you learn some of our “Anglican-isms”.. I believe they will help enrich your experience of following Christ as an Anglican Christian. This week we move to the “C”s, starting with one word that can be used in several different ways, canon.


The word is derived from the Greek kanon, a “measuring rod or rule.” It has several different meanings in the church. 1) [Scripture] The canon of scripture is the list of inspired books recognized by the church to constitute the Holy Scriptures. 2) [Church Law] Canons are the written rules that provide a code of laws for the governance of the church.

3) [Ecclesiastical Title] A canon may be a member of the clergy on the staff of a cathedral or diocese. A canon on a cathedral staff assists the dean, and a canon on a diocesan staff assists the bishop. 4) [Liturgy] The canon designates the fixed portion of the Great Thanksgiving or the prayer of consecration at the Holy Eucharist, including the institution narrative. The canon does not vary with the liturgical season.


A non-metrical song used in liturgical worship. Canticles are drawn from Biblical texts other than the Psalter. The term is derived from the Latin canticulum, a “little song.” In practice, canticles are sung or said in worship. These include the Song of Mary (The Magnificat), The Song of Zechariah (The Benedictus) and others. They are often used in Morning and Evening Prayer.