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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 ?
Because of information training, different but related cohorts of permanent deacons emerged.
(2016).The leadership style of permanent deacons: Servant and transformational middle-aged ministers.
In 2010, CARA reported that 46% of the total global number of permanent deacons was found in the U.S.
Delisle, a spokesman for the Diocese of Worcester, said permanent deacons are clerics who perform a variety of functions including preaching, assisting the priest at Mass, administering the sacrament of baptism, presiding over funerals and burials, distributing Communion, acting as witnesses at weddings, and exercising certain ecclesiastical offices, as well as taking on administrative and parish duties.
Just how does the permanent deacon make Christ present as compared to the priest and the bishop?
Deacon Philip Bedard, a permanent deacon from Taunton and nephew of the jubilarian, assisted.
Deacon Richard Tolcher, a permanent deacon since 1987, is coordinator of the Atlanta archdiocese's Prison and Jail Ministry.
Catharines has a Catholic population of 145,000 with 96 priests (63 diocesan, 33 religious orders), one permanent deacon, and 102 parishes and missions.
Yes, he is in training to become a permanent deacon. He is a lector.
Bob McDonald, a permanent deacon in the Pembroke Diocese.
Hoping to fill a gap in scholarly research about permanent deacons. Joseph Ferrari, a permanent deacon in the Joliet, 111., diocese and a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago.

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