ec·​cle·​si·​al i-ˈklē-zē-əl How to pronounce ecclesial (audio)
: of or relating to a church

Examples of ecclesial in a Sentence

the waning of ecclesial power in Europe as the number of lapsed Christians increases
Recent Examples on the Web In the case of the Synodal Path reform in Germany, some of the core of the beliefs of the Catholic Church, such as the Church’s divine constitution and ecclesial communion, the Sacraments, and the ministerial Priesthood, are being questioned once again. Fr. Goran Jovicic, National Review, 13 June 2021 And yet, in the process of fleeing broken ecclesial institutions, didn’t the new contemplatives also constitute a body politic? Fred Bahnson, Harpers Magazine, 5 Jan. 2021 Others suggest that any sort of ecclesial peace that had reigned was over and that Francis is now more exposed to critics, deprived of the moderating influence Benedict played in keeping the conservative Catholic fringe at bay. Nicole Winfield,, 25 Jan. 2023 His ecclesial service was without parallel in Australia. Raymond J. De Souza, WSJ, 12 Jan. 2023 Throughout the ages, philosophers, theologians, physicians, members of ecclesial law courts, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, sexologists, physiologists, and urologists have shown interest in SREs. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 6 May 2016 While increasingly common, the ecclesial apology is a relatively modern phenomenon, said Jeremy Bergen, a church apology expert and professor of religious and theological studies at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. Peter Smith,, 24 July 2022 In addition to that, one of the goals the synodal reform is to change completely the ecclesial structures of the Church in Germany and elsewhere. Fr. Goran Jovicic, National Review, 13 June 2021 Because of the circular design and lightweight material of the pellegrina, which opens at the front, the wind easily sweeps beneath it, making the liturgical vestment the ecclesial equivalent of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white dress. The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ecclesial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Medieval Latin ecclēsiālis, from Late Latin ecclēsia "assembly of Christian believers, congregation, church, church building" + Latin -ālis -al entry 1; ecclēsia, borrowed from Greek ekklēsía "assembly of citizens, Jewish congregation (in the Septuagint), collectivity of Christian believers (in the New Testament)," from ékklētos "selected to judge" (verbal adjective of ekkaleîn "to call out, summon," from ek- ec- + kaléō, kaleîn "to call, summon, call by name," going back to an Indo-European verbal base *kleh1-, *kl̥h1- "call") + -ia -ia entry 1 — more at low entry 3

First Known Use

1641, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ecclesial was in 1641

Dictionary Entries Near ecclesial

Cite this Entry

“Ecclesial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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