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see orders, holyorders, holy
[Lat. ordo,=rank], in Christianity, the traditional degrees of the clergy, conferred by the Sacrament of Holy Order. The episcopacy, priesthood or presbyterate, and diaconate were in general use in Christian churches in the 2d cent.
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the third rank of ministers in the Orthodox Church.

In the period of early Christianity deacons were persons chosen to direct the economic affairs of the community. Later, with the appearance of bishops, they became intermediaries between the latter and the flock, as well as assistants in the administration of the eparchy. In the second half of the 20th century, they represent the lowest rank of the ecclesiastical hierarchy (after the higher clergy and priests). Within the group itself there are protodeacons (senior deacons), hierodeacons (deacons who are monks), and arch-deacons (in the service of bishops or higher clergy).


1. (in the Roman Catholic and other episcopal churches) an ordained minister ranking immediately below a priest
2. (in Protestant churches) a lay official appointed or elected to assist the minister, esp in secular affairs


Direct English Access and CONtrol. English-like query system. Sammet 1969, p.668.
References in periodicals archive ?
The fashion retailer, which rebranded its children clothing franchise Baby Shop at the beginning of the month to Deacons Kids, is also looking to introduce wide-ranging products for children of up to eight years.
We were each enriched by not separating ourselves into a group of deacons as clergy.
I have just finished reading Peter Feuerherd's article "Widowed deacon remarries, gets laicized" (NCR, April 7-20).
In an unpublished dissertation, Kobal (2005) interviewed five Pennsylvania deacons who felt their local laity understood the clerical role of a deacon.
Deacons, like priests, are ordained ministers, and as in the priesthood, must be men.
It's the latest move in a line of progressive policies and statements for Pope Francis: The Vatican announced Tuesday the pope has set up a commission that will study the possibility of allowing women to become deacons in the Catholic Church.
SIXTEEN new deacons and priests are to be ordained at Coventry Cathedral this weekend.
bishops' office for deacons, says their dual role in parish and community makes deacons ideal for "connecting the dots.
Little did anyone expect that a Chicago Tribune story about Roman Catholic women deacons (Register-Guard, Aug.
THE DIOCESE of Liverpool has 11 new deacons after an ordination ceremony.
Abstract: Vernacular rhyme about deacons abounded in popular literature in the late-nineteenth century, presenting a thought-provoking interplay between the ideal of diaconal holiness and the vicissitudes of daily life.
WORCESTER - The Diocese of Worcester will not accept new candidates for its Diaconate program until it fully assesses the current and future needs for deacons in area parishes.