EPISTOLOGRAPHY Anglicized Greek word denoting the writing (graphe) of a letter (epistole). The study of letter writing has as its goal distinguishing and classifying the various kinds of letters, analyzing the form and function of the component elements (introduction, body, conclusion) of these letters, learning of and describing the mechanisms or postal systems through which …

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DEACONESS A woman in charge of the sick and the poor of her own sex. In the early church, deaconesses were recognized as a distinct order of women who were vowed to perpetual chastity. They were, nevertheless, allowed to perform only certain duties in the care of women, and no sacerdotal services in the church. …

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