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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 ?
My friendship with Bill goes back many years (I won't tell you just how many, but it started a little before the permanent diaconate was restored in the United States), to when we were in high school together.
In the permanent diaconate, we already can see the pressure and preparation that involves the wife every step of the way, from application through the six or seven years of formation prior to ordination, and the ongoing spiritual support for both partners.
The transitional diaconate, which confers the same duties as those of the permanent diaconate, is for men training for the priesthood.
Such organizations advocate for more local ecclesial autonomy, for bishops to be advised and assisted by laity as well as priests, for removing the celibacy vow from diocesan priests, and for reinstating women to the permanent diaconate.
Western Canadian dioceses have been slow in embarking upon a permanent diaconate program compared to dioceses in the East, principally because certain influential priests kept telling themselves and others that the ordination of women was just a matter of time (see below).
The form of a permanent diaconate would be such as to free other ministers (presbyters and bishops) to perform the functions which more appropriately belong to their distinctive calling.
The training for the Permanent Diaconate is run by director Monsignor Austin Hunt who is based at All Saints Church in Anfield.
The fallout led Jim McConnell to abandon his preparation for the permanent diaconate a week before his ordination.
WORCESTER - The Diocese of Worcester will ordain eight area men to the permanent diaconate, just a week after four were elevated to the Roman Catholic priesthood.
Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA -- Mass at Candlestick Park, San Francisco -- Address to Permanent Diaconate at Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI -- Farewell address, "Ultimate test of your greatness .

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