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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 the same way, a deaconry school has been organized in collaboration with the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Center to support the local development of a service from churches to the most deprived communities.
Though the amount of these alms is not noted in the surviving sources, it was probably comparable to the fifteen stuivers per week received by another female demoniac from Utrecht's Reformed deaconry - a substantial amount, certainly equal to whatever a weaver's wife might have contributed to the family budget had she been fit to work.
The Holy Father will hand over the Bull of Creation as cardinal, assign the title or deaconry and exchange a kiss of peace with the new members of the College of Cardinals.