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The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia
A letter issued by the Rector of a Parish, or by the Bishop of the Diocese on some subject affecting the welfare of the Church in its devotions or work. Perhaps the most important of such Pastoral Letters is that which is issued by the House of Bishops at the close of each General Convention, touching on grave questions of the day or on the prospects of the Church throughout the nation, and which is required by canon to be read in all the churches.
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Miller, William James. Entry for 'Pastoral Letter'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/acd/p/pastoral-letter.html. 1901.