Skip to main content
Select Source:

benefice

benefice (bĕn´əfĬs), in canon law, a position in the church that has attached to it a source of income; also, more narrowly, that income itself. The occupant of a benefice receives its revenue (temporalities) for the performance of stipulated duties (spiritualities), e.g., the celebration of Mass. He receives the free use of such revenue but is expected to convert into good works any income in excess of his personal needs. Benefices are normally bestowed for life. Canon law forbids plurality of benefices, i.e., the holding of more than one benefice, but papal dispensations have made many exceptions to this rule. Benefices were originally in the form of land donations made to the church by wealthy laymen. Today the revenue of a benefice may come also from government salaries, investments, or the offerings of the faithful. Benefices are common in Europe but are practically unknown in the United States. The Church of England makes extensive use of the beneficiary system; the benefice in England is also called a living. The value of benefices led to many abuses (see simony) and frequent conflict between secular and ecclesiastical authorities in the Middle Ages.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"benefice." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"benefice." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/benefice

"benefice." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/benefice

benefice

benefice †favour, benefit; ecclesiastical living. XIV. — OF. benefice (mod. bénéfice profit, perquisite) — L. beneficium, f. bene well + fic- var. of stem of facere DO1, make.
So beneficence XVI, beneficent XVII. — F. — L. beneficial XV. — F. or late L. beneficiary XVII. — L. (cf. F. bénéficiaire).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"benefice." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"benefice." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/benefice-1

"benefice." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/benefice-1

benefice

ben·e·fice / ˈbenəfis/ • n. a permanent Church appointment, typically that of a rector or vicar, for which property and income are provided in respect of pastoral duties. DERIVATIVES: ben·e·ficed adj.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"benefice." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"benefice." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/benefice-0

"benefice." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/benefice-0

benefice

beneficeabyss, amiss, bis, bliss, Chris, Diss, hiss, kiss, Majlis, miss, piss, reminisce, sis, Swiss, this, vis •dais •Powys, prowess •loess, Lois •Lewes, lewis •abbess • ibis •Anubis, pubis •cannabis • arabis • duchess • purchase •caddis, Gladys •Candice •Sardis, Tardis •vendace • Charybdis •bodice, goddess •demigoddess • Aldiss • jaundice •de profundis • prejudice • hendiadys •cowardice • stewardess • preface •Memphis • aphis • edifice • benefice •orifice • artifice • office •surface, surface-to-surface •undersurface • haggis • aegis •burgess •clerkess, Theodorákis •Colchis

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"benefice." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"benefice." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/benefice

"benefice." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/benefice