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Catholic Dictionary

Term

CANON

Definition

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 kanōn, rod, rule.)