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Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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CANON

An established rule for guidance, a standard, or a list of such rules: 1. in biblical usage the catalogue of inspired writings known as the Old and New Testaments, identified as such by the Church; 2. in ecclesiastical usage, a short definition of some dogmatic truth, with attached anathema, made as a rule by general councils; 3. the Eucharistic Prayer, which is the essential part of the Sacrifice of the Mass. In religious life, certain orders of men with specific duties often attached to a particular church, shrine, or ecclesiastical function; 4. in music a composition that repeats the same melody by one or more voices in turn, producing harmony; 5. in printing a size type, namely 4 line pica 48 point, used in printing church books or the Canon of the Mass; 6. catalogue of canonized saints; 7. rules of certain religious orders and the books that comprise them; 8. in art and architecture the established rule, which is periodically specified in ecclesiastical matters by Church directives or legislation; 9. a member of the clergy attached to a cathedral or other large church, with specific duties such as the choral recitation of the Divine Office. (Etym. Latin canon, rule, standard of conduct; summary, record; from Greek kan_n, rod, rule.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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