Catholic Dictionary – For Catholics Only

This information is for Catholics only. It must not be divulged to non-Catholics. The less they know about our rituals and code words, the better off they are.

AMEN The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.
BULLETIN Your receipt for attending Mass.
CHOIR A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the Parish to lip-sync.
HOLY WATER A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY.
HYMN A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation’s range.
INCENSE Holy Smoke!
JESUITS An order of priests known for their ability to find colleges with good basketball teams.
JONAH The original ‘Jaws’ story.
JUSTICE When kids have kids of their own.
The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava. (For you non-Catholics it means “Lord have mercy”.)
MAGI The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.
MANGER Where Mary placed Jesus because Joseph forgot the crib when packing the donkey.
PEW A medieval torture device still found in churches.
PROCESSION The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant, and late parishioners looking for seats.
RECESSIONAL The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.
RECESSIONAL HYMN The last song at Mass often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.
RELICS People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.
STABLE Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn’t covered by an HMO. (The Bible’s way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough.)
TEN COMMANDMENTS The most important Top Ten list not presented by David Letterman.
USHER The only people in the parish who don’t know the seating capacity of a pew.

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