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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 ?
In that period of ad hoc surnames, Lucas Cranach probably derived his name from Chranach, the deaconry of which Kronach ('Crowswater') was part; just as Philipp Schwarzerd (black earth) translated his name into Greek as Melanchthon, and Johannes Speissheimer from Schweinfurt called himself Cuspinian.
Each new Cardinal in order of their creation then approached the Pope and knelt before him to receive the red biretta and to be assigned a titular Church or deaconry.
Not that they denied the reality of possession altogether: in the same year one woman appeared on the books of the deaconry as receiving alms because she was "being assaulted by Satan.