• Parables

    A parable is an apparently simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, to teach a great truth or to challenge the hearers to change their own behaviour. Some of Jesus’ parables are a couple of  sentences long while some are extended narratives. 

  • Paschal Triduum

    The high point of the Church’s year, commencing on the evening of Holy Thursday and concluding on the evening of Easter Sunday. The Triduum (Latin for “three days”) sees one great celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, interrupted so as to be celebrated in three parts; the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday afternoon and, the great climax, the Easter Vigil on the night of Holy Saturday. “Paschal” is a Middle English form of the Hebrew word for the Passover (‘pesach’).
  • Passion

    The suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

  • Passover

    A Jewish religious festival and its associated memorial evening dinner remembering the Hebrews’ escape  from slavery in Egypt. “Passover” comes from the Hebrew word ‘pesach’ which means ‘skip’ or ‘jump’. It refers back to the way when death came to the first-born of all families in Egypt, it  “passed  over”  the homes of the Israelites. . Jesus’  Last Supper is presented as a Passover meal in the Gospels.

  • Patriarchy

    A social system in which males hold primary power in family leadership, social privilege and often, control of property.
  • Pax Romana

    The “Roman Peace”; the peace and social stability which existed among the various peoples and groups  within the Roman Empire for roughly two centuries beginning with the rule (27 BCE - 14 CE) of the first emperor, Augustus . The Roman Empire reached its greatest extent about 100 CE.)

  • Pentateuch

    Greek for “five scrolls”. The first five books of the Bible which in Hebrew are called the Torah “law”.

  • Pentecost

    Greek for “Fiftieth day”. A major Solemnity, celebrated 50 days after Easter. It marks the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the enduring, energising presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

  • pericope

    A selection or extract of text.
  • Pharisees

    A lay group within Judaism of New Testament times known for strict religious observance and determination to prevent the contamination of the faith by foreign practices. As a result, they were influential in the survival of Judaism after the fall of the Temple in 70.

  • Pilgrimage

    A journey with a religious purpose to a sacred site or place of importance to faith and belief.
  • Pilpel

    Literally means “pepper” - you say this, we say that, you use this Torah verse to justify your response, we use this Torah response.

  • Preaching

    Delivery of a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people.
  • Prophet

    One God called to announce a message to his people. The word comes from the Greek for “important speaker”. Usually the message was not welcomed by most of the people, leading to suffering being part of the lot of prophets. One occasional feature among the activities of prophets was predicting bad times ahead if people didn’t change their ways. This has led to “being a prophet” usually meaning, in everyday English, predicting the future.