Deacon

Deacon

Overview
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. In many traditions the "diaconate", the term for a deacon's office, is a clerical
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 office; in others it is for laity
Laity
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...

.

The word "deacon" is derived from the Greek word diakonos (διάκονος), which is a standard ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 word meaning "servant", "waiting-man," "minister" or "messenger." One commonly promulgated speculation as to its etymology is that it literally means 'through the dust', referring to the dust raised by the busy servant or messenger.

It is generally believed that the office of deacon originated in the selection of seven men, among them Stephen
Saint Stephen
Saint Stephen The Protomartyr , the protomartyr of Christianity, is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches....

, to assist with the charitable work of the early church as recorded in .
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Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. In many traditions the "diaconate", the term for a deacon's office, is a clerical
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 office; in others it is for laity
Laity
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...

.

The word "deacon" is derived from the Greek word diakonos (διάκονος), which is a standard ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 word meaning "servant", "waiting-man," "minister" or "messenger." One commonly promulgated speculation as to its etymology is that it literally means 'through the dust', referring to the dust raised by the busy servant or messenger.

It is generally believed that the office of deacon originated in the selection of seven men, among them Stephen
Saint Stephen
Saint Stephen The Protomartyr , the protomartyr of Christianity, is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches....

, to assist with the charitable work of the early church as recorded in . Female deacons are mentioned by Pliny the Younger
Pliny the Younger
Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo , better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped raise and educate him...

 in a letter to Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

 dated c. 112. The exact relationship between male and female Deacons varies. In some traditions a female deacon is simply a member of the order of deacons; in others, deaconesses constitute a separate order; in others, the title "deaconess" is given to the wife of a deacon.

A biblical description of the qualities required of a male and female deacons, and of their households, can be found in .

Among the more prominent deacons in history are Saint Phoebe, the only person in Scripture actually called "deacon"; Saint Stephen
Saint Stephen
Saint Stephen The Protomartyr , the protomartyr of Christianity, is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches....

, the first Christian martyr (the "protomartyr"); Philip the Evangelist
Philip the Evangelist
Saint Philip the Evangelist appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles. He was one of the Seven Deacons chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem . He preached and performed miracles in Samaria, converted Simon Magus, and met and baptised an Ethiopian man, an...

, whose baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch
Ethiopian eunuch
The Ethiopian eunuch is a figure in the New Testament of the Bible. The story of his conversion to Christianity is recounted in Acts 8.-Biblical narrative:...

 is recounted in ; Saint Lawrence
Saint Lawrence
Lawrence of Rome was one of the seven deacons of ancient Rome who were martyred during the persecution of Valerian in 258.- Holy Chalice :...

, an early Roman martyr; Saint Vincent of Saragossa, protomartyr of Spain; Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the mendicant Franciscans; Saint Ephrem the Syrian
Ephrem the Syrian
Ephrem the Syrian was a Syriac and a prolific Syriac-language hymnographer and theologian of the 4th century. He is venerated by Christians throughout the world, and especially in the Syriac Orthodox Church, as a saint.Ephrem wrote a wide variety of hymns, poems, and sermons in verse, as well as...

 and Saint Romanos the Melodist, a prominent early hymnographer. Prominent historical figures who played major roles as deacons and went on to higher office include Saint Athanasius of Alexandria
Athanasius of Alexandria
Athanasius of Alexandria [b. ca. – d. 2 May 373] is also given the titles St. Athanasius the Great, St. Athanasius I of Alexandria, St Athanasius the Confessor and St Athanasius the Apostolic. He was the 20th bishop of Alexandria. His long episcopate lasted 45 years Athanasius of Alexandria [b....

, Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion...

 and Reginald Pole.

The title is also used for the president, chairperson, or head of a trades guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

 in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

; and likewise to two officers of a Masonic Lodge
Masonic Lodge
This article is about the Masonic term for a membership group. For buildings named Masonic Lodge, see Masonic Lodge A Masonic Lodge, often termed a Private Lodge or Constituent Lodge, is the basic organisation of Freemasonry...

.

Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Anglicanism


The diaconate is one of the major orders
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

 in the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox
Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon...

 churches. The other major orders are those of bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 and presbyter
Presbyter
Presbyter in the New Testament refers to a leader in local Christian congregations, then a synonym of episkopos...

 (priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

).

While the diaconate as a permanent order was maintained from earliest Apostolic times to the present in the Eastern churches (Orthodox and Catholic), it mostly disappeared in the Western church (with a few notable exceptions such as St Francis of Assisi) during the first millennium, with Western churches retaining deacons attached to diocesan cathdrals. The diaconate continued in a vestigial form as a temporary, final step along the course to ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood. In the 20th century, the diaconate was restored as a permanent order in many Western churches, most notably in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and The United Methodist Church.

In Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican churches, deacons assist priests in their pastoral and administrative duties, but often report directly to the bishop. They have a distinctive role in the liturgy
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

, their main tasks being to proclaim the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

, preach, assist in the administration of the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 and to serve the poor and outcast.

Roman Catholicism



In the years just prior to the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

, the only men ordained as deacons were seminarians who were completing the last year or so of graduate theological training, who received the order several months before priestly ordination.

Following the recommendations of the council (in Lumen Gentium
Lumen Gentium
Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. This dogmatic constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5...

 29), in 1967 Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 issued the motu proprio
Motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....

 Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, restoring the ancient practice of ordaining to the diaconate men who were not candidates for priestly ordination. These men are known as permanent deacons in contrast to those completing their training, who were then called transitional deacons. There is no sacramental difference between the two, however, as there is only one order of deacons.


The permanent diaconate formation period in the Roman Catholic Church entails a year of prayerful preparation, a four- or five-year training period that resembles a collegiate course of study, and a year of post-ordination formation as well as the need for lifelong continuing education credits. Diaconal candidates receive instruction in philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, study of the Holy Scriptures (the Bible), homiletics
Homiletics
Homiletics , in theology the application of the general principles of rhetoric to the specific department of public preaching. The one who practices or studies homiletics is called a homilist....

, sacramental studies, evangelization
Evangelization
Evangelization is that process in the Christian religion which seeks to spread the Gospel and the knowledge of the Gospel throughout the world. It can be defined as so:-The birth of Christian evangelization:...

, ecclesiology
Ecclesiology
Today, ecclesiology usually refers to the theological study of the Christian church. However when the word was coined in the late 1830s, it was defined as the science of the building and decoration of churches and it is still, though rarely, used in this sense.In its theological sense, ecclesiology...

, counseling, and pastoral care and ministry before ordination. Although they are assigned to work in a parish by the diocesan bishop, once assigned, deacons are under the supervision of the parish pastor. Unlike most clerics, permanent deacons who also have a secular profession have no right to receive a salary for their ministry, but many dioceses opt to remunerate them anyway. Details about the permanent diaconate in the United States are outlined in a 2005 document of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is the episcopal conference of the Catholic Church in the United States. Founded in 1966 as the joint National Conference of Catholic Bishops and United States Catholic Conference, it is composed of all active and retired members of the Catholic...

, National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. url=http://nccbuscc.org/deacon/DeaconDirectory.pdf

The ministry of the deacon in the Roman Catholic Church is described as one of service in three areas: the Word, the Liturgy and Charity. The deacon's ministry of the Word includes proclaiming the Gospel during the Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

, preaching and teaching. The deacon's liturgical ministry includes various parts of the Mass proper to the deacon, including being an ordinary minister of Holy Communion and the proper minister of the chalice when Holy Communion is administered under both kinds. The ministry of charity involves service to the poor and marginalized and working with parishioners to help them become more involved in such ministry. As clerics, deacons are required to recite the Liturgy of the Hours
Liturgy of the hours
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings...

. Deacons, like priests and bishops, are ordinary ministers of the sacrament of Baptism
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 and can serve as the church's witness at the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, which the bride and groom administer to each other (though if the exchange of vows takes place in a wedding Mass, or Nuptial Mass, the Mass is celebrated by the priest and the deacon acts as another witness). Deacons may preside at funeral rites not involving a Mass (e.g., the final commendation at the gravesite or the reception of the body at a service in the funeral home), and may assist the priest at the Requiem Mass. They can preside over various services such as Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is a devotional ceremony celebrated within the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in some Anglican and Lutheran Churches, Liberal Catholic churches, Western Rite Orthodox churches, and Latinised Eastern Catholic Churches.Benediction of the...

, and they may give certain blessings. They cannot hear confession and give absolution, anoint the sick, or celebrate Mass.

At Mass, the deacon is the ordinary minister of the proclamation of the Gospel (in fact, a priest, bishop, or even the Pope should not proclaim the Gospel if a deacon is present) and of Holy Communion (primarily, of the Precious Blood). As ordained clerics, and if granted faculties by their bishops, deacons may preach the homily at a public Mass, unless the priest celebrant retains that ministry to himself at a given Mass.


The vestments most particularly associated with the Western Rite Catholic deacon are the alb
Alb
The alb , one of the liturgical vestments of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and many Protestant churches, is an ample white garment coming down to the ankles and usually girdled with a cincture. It is simply the long linen tunic used by the Romans...

, stole and dalmatic
Dalmatic
The dalmatic is a long wide-sleeved tunic, which serves as a liturgical vestment in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and United Methodist Churches, which is sometimes worn by a deacon at the Mass or other services. Although infrequent, it may also be worn by bishops above the alb and below...

. Deacons, like priests and bishops, must wear their albs and stoles; deacons place the stole over their left shoulder and it hangs across to their right side, while priests and bishops wear it around their necks. The dalmatic, a vestment especially associated with the deacon, is worn during the celebration of the Mass
Mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

 and other liturgical functions; its use is more liberally applied than the corresponding vestment of the priest, the chasuble
Chasuble
The chasuble is the outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist in Western-tradition Christian Churches that use full vestments, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches, as well as in some parts of the United Methodist Church...

. At certain major celebrations, such as ordinations, the diocesan bishop wears a dalmatic under his chasuble.

Permanent deacons often serve in parish or other ministry as their time permits, since they typically have other full time employment. They may also act as parish administrators (C. 217 of the Code of Canon Law). With the passage of time, more and more deacons are serving in full-time ministries in parishes, hospitals, prisons, and in diocesan positions. Deacons often work directly in ministry to the marginalized inside and outside the church: the poor, the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned.

The permanent diaconate can be conferred on single men 25 or older, and on married men 35 or older, but an older age can be required by the episcopal conference. If a married deacon is widowed, he must maintain the celibate state. Under some very rare circumstances, however, deacons who have been widowed can receive permission to remarry. This is most commonly done when the deacon is left as a single father. In some cases, a widowed deacon will seek priestly ordination, especially if his children are grown. (See also clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy is the discipline by which some or all members of the clergy in certain religions are required to be unmarried. Since these religions consider deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior outside of marriage to be sinful, clerical celibacy also requires abstension from these...

.) The wife of a permanent deacon may be sometimes considered a partner in his ordained ministry. In many dioceses, the wife of the diaconal candidate undertakes the same education and training her husband does.

A permanent deacon is not styled
Style (manner of address)
A style of office, or honorific, is a legal, official, or recognized title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal...

 "Father" as a priest would be, but as "Deacon," abbreviated variously as "Dn." or "Dcn." This preferred method of address is stated in the 2005 document of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. The proper address in written correspondence for all Deacons of the Latin (Roman Rite) Catholic Church is "Rev. Mr.". "Rev. Mr.," however, is more often used to indicate a transitional deacon
Transitional deacon
In the Roman Catholic Church, a transitional deacon is a celibate man who has been ordained a deacon and who intends to become a priest. Transitional deacons are usually ordained to the diaconate after they complete their third year at the theological seminary. For several centuries, all Roman...

 (i.e., preparing for ordination to the priesthood) or one who belongs to a religious order, while "Deacon" is used as the honorific for permanent deacons (e.g. Deacon John Smith, or Deacon Smith). The decision as to whether deacons wear the Roman collar as street attire is left to the discretion of each bishop for his own diocese. Where clerical garb is approved by the bishop, the deacon can choose to wear or not wear the "collar." Where it is not permitted, the deacon must wear secular clothing.

Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism


In addition to reading the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

 and assisting in the administration of Holy Communion, the deacon censes
Thurible
A thurible is a metal censer suspended from chains, in which incense is burned during worship services. It is used in the Catholic Church as well as in Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, some Lutheran, Old Catholic, and in various Gnostic Churches. It is also used...

 the icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

s and people, calls the people to prayer, leads the litanies
Ektenia
Ektenia , often called simply Litany, is a prayerful petition in the Eastern Orthodox/Eastern Catholic liturgy...

, and has a role in the dialogue of the Anaphora
Anaphora (liturgy)
The Anaphora is the most solemn part of the Divine liturgy, Mass, or other Christian Communion rite where the offerings of bread and wine are consecrated as the body and blood of Christ. This is the usual name for this part of the Liturgy in Eastern Christianity, but it is more often called the...

. In keeping with Eastern tradition he is not permitted to perform any Sacred Mysteries
Sacred Mysteries
The term sacred mysteries generally denotes the area of supernatural phenomena associated with a divinity or a religious ideology.-Pre-Christian religious mysteries:...

 (sacraments) on his own, except for Baptism in extremis (in danger of death), conditions under which anyone, including the laity, may baptize. When assisting at a normal baptism, it is often the deacon who goes down into the water with the one being baptized . In contrast to the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, deacons in the Eastern Churches may not preside at the celebration of marriages, as in Eastern theology the sacrament is conferred by the nuptial blessing of a priest.

Diaconal vestment
Vestment
Vestments are liturgical garments and articles associated primarily with the Christian religion, especially among Latin Rite and other Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans...

s are the sticharion
Sticharion
The sticharion is a liturgical vestment of the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, roughly analogous in function to the alb of the Western Church...

 (dalmatic), the orarion
Orarion
The Orarion is the distinguishing vestment of the deacon and subdeacon in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches. It is a narrow stole, usually four to five inches wide and of various lengths, made of brocade, often decorated with crosses embroidered or appliquéd along its...

 (deacon's stole), and the epimanikia
Epimanikia
Epimanikia are liturgical vestments of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches. They are cuffs made of thickened fabric, usually brocade, that lace onto the wrists of a bishop, priest, or deacon...

 (cuffs). The last are worn under his sticharion, not over it as does a priest or bishop. The deacon usually wears a simple orarion which is only draped over the left shoulder but, if elevated to the rank or archdeacon, he wears the "doubled-orarion", meaning it is passed over the left shoulder, under the right arm, and then crossed over the left shoulder (see photograph, right). In modern Greek practice, a deacon wears this doubled orarion from the time of his ordination. Also, in the Greek practice, he wears the clerical kamilavka
Kamilavka
A Kalimavkion , or kalymmavchi , or kamilavka , is an item of clerical clothing worn by Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic monks or awarded to clergy ....

 (cylindrical head covering) with a rim at the top. In Slavic practice, a hierodeacon
Hierodeacon
A Hierodeacon , sometimes translated "deacon-monk", in Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a monk who has been ordained a deacon...

 (monastic deacon) wears the simple black kamilavka of a monk (without the rim), but he removes the monastic veil (see klobuk
Klobuk
thumbA klobuk is an item of clerical clothing worn by Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic monastics and bishops, especially in the Russian tradition...

) when he is vested; a married deacon would not wear a kamilavka unless it is given to him by the bishop as an ecclesiastical award
Ecclesiastical award
An Ecclesiastial award is an official award, honor or privilege presented by ecclesiastical authority. In the Eastern Orthodox Church certain official awards and honours may be bestowed upon members of the clergy and laity...

; the honorary kamilavka is purple in colour, and may be awarded to either married or monastic clergy.

As far as street clothing is concerned, immediately following his ordination the deacon receives a blessing to wear the Exorasson (Arabic: Jib'be, Slavonic: Riassa), an outer cassock with wide sleeves, in addition to the Anterion (Slavonic: Podraznik), the inner cassock worn by all orders of clergy. In the Slavic practice, married clergy may wear any of a number of colours, but most often grey, while monastic clergy always wear black. In certain jurisdtictions in North America and Western Europe, a Roman collar is often worn, although this is not a traditional or widespread practice.

A protodeacon
Protodeacon
Protodeacon derives from the Greek proto- meaning 'first' and diakonos, which is a standard ancient Greek word meaning "servant", "waiting-man," "minister" or "messenger." The word in English may refer to various clergymen, depending upon the usage of the particular church in question.-Eastern...

 (Greek: πρωτοδιάκονος: protodiakonos, "first deacon") is a distinction of honor awarded to senior deacons, usually serving on the staff of the diocesan bishop. An archdeacon
Archdeacon
An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in Anglicanism, Syrian Malabar Nasrani, Chaldean Catholic, and some other Christian denominations, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. In the High Middle Ages it was the most senior diocesan position below a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church...

 is similar, but is among the monastic clergy. Protodeacons and archdeacons use a double-length orarion even if it is not the local tradition for all deacons to use it. In the Slavic tradition a deacon may be awarded the doubled-orarion even if he is not a protodeacon or archdeacon.

According to the practice of the Greek Orthodox Church of America, in keeping with the tradition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the most common way to address a deacon is "Father". Depending on local tradition, deacons are addressed as either "Father", "Father Deacon," "Deacon Father," or, , if addressed by a Bishop, simply as "Deacon".

The tradition of kissing the hands of ordained clergymen extends to the diaconate as well. This practice is rooted in the Holy Eucharist and is in acknowledgement and respect of the Eucharistic role members of the clergy play in preparing, handling and disbursing the divine and lifegiving body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ during the Divine Liturgy, and in building and serving the Body of Christ, His Church.

Anciently, the Eastern Churches ordained deaconess
Deaconess
Deaconess is a non-clerical order in some Christian denominations which sees to the care of women in the community. That word comes from a Greek word diakonos as well as deacon, which means a servant or helper and occurs frequently in the Christian New Testament of the Bible. Deaconesses trace...

es. This practice fell into desuetude in the second millennium, but has been revived in some churches. Saint Nectarios of Pentapolis
Nectarios
Saint Nectarios of Aegina , Greek: Άγιος Νεκτάριος Αιγίνης, Metropolitan of Pentapolis and Wonderworker of Aegina, was officially recognized as a Saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1961. His Feast Day is celebrated every year on 9 November.- Life :St. Nectarios was born on 1...

 ordained a number of nuns as deacons in convents. Female deacons would assist in anointing and baptising women, and in ministering to the spiritual needs of the women of the community, but would not serve within the Holy Altar. As churches discontinued ordaining women to the diaconate, these duties largely fell to the nuns and to the priests' wives.

(See also clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy is the discipline by which some or all members of the clergy in certain religions are required to be unmarried. Since these religions consider deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior outside of marriage to be sinful, clerical celibacy also requires abstension from these...

.)

Anglicanism


In Anglican churches, deacons often work directly in ministry to the marginalized inside and outside the church: the poor, the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned. Unlike Orthodox and Catholic deacons who may be married only before ordination, Anglican deacons are permitted to marry freely both before and after ordination, as are Anglican priests. Most deacons are preparing for priesthood and are usually ordained as priests about a year after their diaconal ordination. However, there are some deacons who do not go on to receive priestly ordination. Many provinces of the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

 ordain both women and men as deacons. Many of those provinces that ordain women to the priesthood previously allowed them to be ordained only to the diaconate. The effect of this was the creation of a large and overwhelmingly female diaconate for a time, as most men proceeded to be ordained priests after a short time as a deacon.

Anglican deacons may baptize
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 and in some dioceses are granted licences to solemnize matrimony
Wedding
A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes...

, usually under the instruction of their parish priest and bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

. They commonly officiate at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is a devotional ceremony celebrated within the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in some Anglican and Lutheran Churches, Liberal Catholic churches, Western Rite Orthodox churches, and Latinised Eastern Catholic Churches.Benediction of the...

. Deacons are not able to preside at the eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 (but can lead worship with the distribution of already-consecrated communion elements where this is permitted), nor can they pronounce God's absolution of sin or pronounce the Trinitiarian blessing. In most cases, deacons minister alongside other clergy.

An Anglican deacon wears an identical choir dress
Choir dress
Choir dress is the vesture of the clerics, seminarians and religious of traditional churches worn for public prayer, either apart from the eucharist or by those attending the eucharist as the clergy part of the congregation rather than as the celebrants...

 to an Anglican priest: cassock
Cassock
The cassock, an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, Lutheran Church and some ministers and ordained officers of Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Ankle-length garment is the meaning of the...

, surplice
Surplice
A surplice is a liturgical vestment of the Western Christian Church...

, tippet
Tippet
A tippet is a stole or scarf-like narrow piece of clothing, worn over the shoulders. They evolved in the fourteenth century from long sleeves and typically had one end hanging down to the knees...

 and academic hood. However, liturgically, deacons usually wear a stole over their left shoulder and fastened on the right side of their waist. This is worn both over the surplice and the alb
Alb
The alb , one of the liturgical vestments of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and many Protestant churches, is an ample white garment coming down to the ankles and usually girdled with a cincture. It is simply the long linen tunic used by the Romans...

. A deacon might also wear a dalmatic
Dalmatic
The dalmatic is a long wide-sleeved tunic, which serves as a liturgical vestment in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and United Methodist Churches, which is sometimes worn by a deacon at the Mass or other services. Although infrequent, it may also be worn by bishops above the alb and below...

.

The envelope address for a deacon is the same in every case, "The Rev(d). John (Jane) Doe, Deacon for the Diocese of N.," but the salutation depends on whether the deacon is transitional or permanent, permanent deacons being called "Deacon," and transitional deacons being styled the same as priests--"Father" (Fr.), or sometimes (depending on a woman priest's preference) "Mother" (Mo.).

Deaconesses



The title "women deacon" or "deaconess" appears in many documents from the early Church period, particularly in the East. Their duties were often different from that of male deacons; women deacons prepared adult women for baptism and they had a general Apostolate to female Christians and catechumens. Women appear to have been ordained as deacons to serve the larger community until about the 6th century in the West and in the East until modern times.

Liturgies for the ordination of women deacons are quite similar to those for male Deacons and the ancient ordination rites have been noted by groups like Womenpriests. Although it is sometimes argued that the deaconesses of history were sacramentally not "ordained" in the full sense used in the present day in Canons 1008 and 1009 of the Code of Canon Law, some modern scholars argue that the ordination of women deacons might have been equally sacramental to that of male deacons.

Currently, the Catholic Church has not restored women to the diaconate, although Vatican statements have declined to state that this is not possible, as they have in the case of priestly ordination. The Russian Orthodox Church had a female diaconate into the 20th century. The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece restored a monastic female "diaconate" in 2004. The Armenian Church has a long history of women deacons, to the present.

Missouri Synod (USA)


The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod is a traditional, confessional Lutheran denomination in the United States. With 2.3 million members, it is both the eighth largest Protestant denomination and the second-largest Lutheran body in the U.S. after the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Synod...

 (LC-MS) in the United States has special training and certification programs for deaconesses. LC-MS deaconesses are trained at Concordia University - Chicago
Concordia University Chicago
Concordia University Chicago is an American private, Lutheran liberal arts university located in the Illinois suburb of River Forest, 10 miles west of Chicago.-Description:...

 or one of their two seminaries (St. Louis, MO
Concordia Seminary
Concordia Seminary is located in Clayton, Missouri, an inner-ring suburb on the western border of St. Louis, Missouri. The institution's primary mission is to train pastors, deaconesses, missionaries, chaplains, and church leaders for the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod . The current president of...

 or Fort Wayne, IN
Concordia Theological Seminary
The Concordia Theological Seminary is an institution of theological higher education of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod , located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, dedicated primarily to the preparation of pastors for the congregations and missions of the LCMS...

). Internet based classes are also available through the Mission Training Center (MTC).

Deaconesses assist pastors in human care ministry and other roles with the goals of caring for those in need and freeing pastors to focus on word and sacrament ministry. Acts chapter 6, verse 2 describes the function of deacons (servants) then and now, "So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.'"

Deaconesses are installed, not ordained, and remain lay persons. The word "ordain" is to be reserved for the pastoral office.

Deaconesses do not preach or administer the sacraments; although she may perform baptism in cases of emergency. Special exceptions may be made for deacons (vicars) who are training to become pastors but must be given by the district president in writing. (A vicar in the LC-MS is a third year seminarian who is doing an internship under a pastor. It should not be confused with the same term in Anglican and other church traditions.)

Deaconess Community (ELCA/ELCIC)


The Deaconess Community, a community of women serving in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) was formed in 1884. These women, who bear the title of 'Sister', proclaim the gospel through ministries of mercy and servant leadership on behalf of both churches for the sake of the world. Since the 1970s the sisters have been allowed to marry.

Diaconal Ministers/Associates in Ministry (ELCA/ELCIC)


The diaconate was recognized and rostered by the ELCA in 1993, creating a fourth 'roster' of recognized ministers (the other three being ordained, associates in ministry, and deaconess) in the churchwide body. The community is still young and as such is still being formed as to what styles and forms of ministry a diaconal minister pursues, as well as practices and traditions of the same.

As in the Anglican Communion, Lutheran diaconal ministers are allowed to wear a stole draped sideways from one shoulder and tied off at the waist, usually with some material left hanging below. Diaconal ministers (the term "deacon" is used occasionally but not officially) are involved in preaching, assisting in worship, leading worship in lieu of an ordained pastor and other congregational duties; they are, however, primarily called to service outside the church, in fields such as campus ministry, chaplaincy, congregational ministry, counseling, social service agency work, spiritual direction, parish and community nursing and a range of other avenues. A diaconal minister is 'consecrated', rather than 'ordained'. This ceremony is usually presided over by a bishop.

Also of note are the 'associates in ministry (AIM), a rostered position within the ELCA consisting of laypersons commissioned into positions of service within the church, most often as educators, musicians, and worship leaders. While there is a trend towards combining the diaconal and associate ministries, the 'AIM' program continues in its own right, and associates are spread across the entirety of the churchwide body. AIMs are "commissioned" in the church and the hierarchy for service.

Porvoo Lutheran churches


The Porvoo Communion
Porvoo Communion
The Porvoo Communion is a communion of 12 mainly northern European Anglican and Lutheran churches. It was established in 1992 by an agreement entitled the Porvoo Common Statement which establishes full communion between and among the churches...

 is a formally constituted union between the Anglican churches of Ireland and Great Britain and the Lutheran churches of most of the Scandinavian and Baltic states. These Lutheran churches administer holy orders in the same threefold ministry as the Anglican Communion, with deacons ordained to their ministry. As a result the Porvoo agreement allows for a complete freedom of exchange of ministries (of bishops and priests as well as deacons) between the Anglican and Lutheran churches who are signatories.

Methodist Church of Great Britain


Methodist Church of Great Britain
Methodist Church of Great Britain
The Methodist Church of Great Britain is the largest Wesleyan Methodist body in the United Kingdom, with congregations across Great Britain . It is the United Kingdom's fourth largest Christian denomination, with around 300,000 members and 6,000 churches...

 has a Permanent Diaconate, based on an understanding of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 that Deacons have an equal, but distinct ministry from Presbyters. The original Wesleyan Deaconess Order was founded by Rev Thomas Bowman Stephenson in 1890, following observation of new ministries in urban areas in the previous years. The order continued as the Wesley Deaconess Order following Methodist Union in 1932, but, following the admission of women to "The Ministry" (as presbyteral ministry is commonly termed in the Methodist Church), a number of Deaconesses transferred and recruitment for the WDO ceased from 1978. The 1986 Methodist Conference re-opened The Order to both men and women and the first Ordinations to the renewed order occurred during the 1990 Conference in Cardiff, which coincided with celebrations of 100 years of diaconal service in British Methodism; deaconesses had previously been ordained at their annual convocation
Convocation
A Convocation is a group of people formally assembled for a special purpose.- University use :....

.

The United Methodist Church


In U.S. Methodism, the deacon began as a transitional order before a clergy person was ordained elder. In 1996, The United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 ended the transitional deacon and established a new Order of Deacons to be equal in status with the Order of Elders. Both men and women may be ordained as deacons. Deacons serve in a variety of specialized ministries including, but not limited to, Christian education, music, communications and ministries of justice and advocacy. Unlike United Methodist elders, deacons must find their own place of service. Nevertheless, the bishop does officially approve and appoint deacons to their selected ministry. Deacons may assist the elder in the administration of Sacraments, but must receive special approval from a bishop before presiding over Baptism and Holy Communion.

Other traditions


Deacons are also appointed or elected in other Protestant denominations, though this is less commonly seen as a step towards the clerical ministry. The role of deacon in these denominations varies greatly from denomination to denomination; often, there will be more emphasis on administrative duties than on pastoral or liturgical duties. In some denominations, deacons' duties are only financial management and practical aid and relief. Elders handle pastoral and other administrative duties.

Amish


The Amish
Amish
The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

 have deacons, but they are elected by a council and receive no formal training.

Baptists


Baptists have traditionally followed the principle of the autonomy of the local church congregation, giving each church the ability to discern for themselves the interpretation of scripture. Thus, the views among Baptist churches as to who becomes a deacon and when, as well as what they do and how they go about doing it, vary greatly. Baptists recognize two ordained positions in the church as Elders (Pastors) and Deacons, as per 1 Timothy, third chapter.

There are Baptist churches where the deacons decide many of the church affairs. There are churches where deacons serve in a family ministry only. There are Baptist churches (especially in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, but also in the U.S. and elsewhere) where women are allowed to be deacons; while many Baptist churches would never consider allowing a woman to serve as a deacon.

One example would be the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches
General Association of Regular Baptist Churches
The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches is one of several Baptist groups in North America retaining the name "Regular Baptist"....

, where deacons can be any adult male member of the congregation that is in good standing. Many African American Missionary or National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. is the largest predominantly African-American Christian denomination in the United States and is the world's second largest Baptist denomination...

 affiliated churches have male and female deacons serving as one board and others have two separate boards of deacons and deaconesses. Most often the deacon or deacon candidate is a long-standing member of the church, being middle aged, but younger deacons are often members of a family that has had several generations in the same church. They are elected by quorum vote annually. Their roles are semi-pastoral in that they fill in for the pastor on occasion, or lead a prayer service. Their main roles are to accompany the pastor during Communion
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 to hand out the remembrances of bread and wine (or grape juice) and to set a good example for others to follow. Administrative duties sometimes include oversight of the treasury, Sunday school curriculum, transportation, and various outreach ministries.
See Baptist Distinctives for a more accurate treatment of Deacons in churches in other Associations, particularly the UK.

Church of Scotland


There are two distinct offices of Deacon in the Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

. The best known form of diaconate are trained, paid pastoral workers, often working in parishes with considerable social and economic deprivation. The permanent diaconate was formerly exclusively female, and it was in the centenary year of the Diaconate (1988) that men were admitted to the office of Deacon. women could not be ordained as Ministers until 1968
Ordination of women in the Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland was one of the first national churches to accept the ordination of women. In Presbyterianism, ordination is understood to be an ordinance rather than a sacrament; ministers and elders are ordained; until recently deacons were "commissioned" but now they too are ordained to...

. The offices of Deacon and Minister are now both open to both women and men; Deacons are now ordained (they were previously "commissioned").

The other office of Deacon can be found in congregations formerly belonging to the pre-1900 Free Church of Scotland
Free Church of Scotland (1843-1900)
The Free Church of Scotland is a Scottish denomination which was formed in 1843 by a large withdrawal from the established Church of Scotland in a schism known as the "Disruption of 1843"...

, with a "Deacons' Court" having responsibility for financial and administrative oversight of congregations. Only a few congregations still retain this constitutional model, with most having since adopted the Church of Scotland's "Model Constitution" (with a Kirk Session and Congregational Board) or "Unitary Congregation" (with just a Kirk Session). Most of the Free Church
Free Church of Scotland (1843-1900)
The Free Church of Scotland is a Scottish denomination which was formed in 1843 by a large withdrawal from the established Church of Scotland in a schism known as the "Disruption of 1843"...

 congregations united with the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland
United Presbyterian Church of Scotland
The United Presbyterian Church of Scotland was a Scottish Presbyterian denomination. It was formed in 1847 by the union of the United Secession Church and the Relief Church, and in 1900 merged with the Free Church of Scotland to form the United Free Church of Scotland, which in turn united with...

 in 1900 creating the United Free Church of Scotland
United Free Church of Scotland
The United Free Church of Scotland is a Scottish Presbyterian denomination formed in 1900 by the union of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland...

, which itself united with the Church of Scotland in 1929.

The congregations of the Free Church of Scotland (post 1900)
Free Church of Scotland (post 1900)
Free Church of Scotland is that part of the original Free Church of Scotland that remained outside of the union with the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland in 1900...

 which did not join the UF Church in 1900 continue to have Deacons.

Uniting Church in Australia


In the Uniting Church in Australia
Uniting Church in Australia
The Uniting Church in Australia was formed on 22 June 1977 when many congregations of the Methodist Church of Australasia, the Presbyterian Church of Australia and the Congregational Union of Australia came together under the Basis of Union....

, the diaconate is one of two offices of ordained ministry. The other is Minister of the Word.

Deacons in the Uniting Church are called to minister to those on the fringes of the church and be involved in ministry in the community. A deacon is a pathfinder. They go where others have not gone before and light the way for the church to respond to where people in the community are hurting, disadvantaged and oppressed. A deacon is a community builder. Not always having congregation, they begin with scattered people and shape them into a community. A deacon is an evangelist. They share the good news of the gospel with people in the community.

Due to shortages in diaconal placements in the Uniting Church, deacons are often serving in similar or exact placements to ministers of the Word.

It is also acknowledged that both the "Ministry of the Word" and the "Ministry of Deacon" have a number of overlaps and not one particular ministry is restricted to any particular ordination.

In the Uniting Church both ministers of the word and deacons are styled The Reverend.

Presbyterian Church (USA)


Individual congregations of this church denomination also ordain deacons, along with elder
Elder (Christianity)
An elder in Christianity is a person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a Christian group. In some Christian traditions an elder is a clergy person who usually serves a local church or churches and who has been ordained to a ministry of Word,...

s. However, in many churches the property-functions of the diaconate and session of elders is commended to an independent board of trustee
Trustee
Trustee is a legal term which, in its broadest sense, can refer to any person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another...

s. John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

's legacy of restoring a servant-ministry diaconate lives on in the Presbyterian churches. Deacons are specially charged with ministries of mercy, especially toward the sick and the poor.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints



The office of Deacon is generally open to all 12 and 13 year old male members of the church; all are encouraged to become Deacons. Duties include:
  1. Gather fast offerings.
  2. Pass the sacrament.
  3. Serve as the bishop’s messenger.
  4. Care for the grounds and physical facilities of the church.
  5. Assist in service projects or welfare assignments as assigned by the bishop.
  6. Watch over the Church and act as standing ministers (see D&C 84:111).
  7. Be involved in missionary and reactivation efforts (see D&C 20:58–59).
  8. Assist teachers in all their duties as needed (see D&C 20:53, 57).
  9. Give talks in Church meetings.

Church of Christ


The role of deacons in this church is also widely varied. Generally they are put in control of various programs of a congregation. They are servants, as the etymology indicates, of the church. They are under the subjection of the elders, as is the rest of the congregation. Their qualifications are found in the New Testament, in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 (Waddey, John; et al. 1981).

New Apostolic Church


In the New Apostolic Church
New Apostolic Church
The New Apostolic Church is a chiliastic church, converted to Protestantism as a free church from the Catholic Apostolic Church. The church has existed since 1879 in Germany and since 1897 in the Netherlands...

, the deacon ministry is a local ministry. A deacon mostly works in his home congregation to support the priests. If a priest is unavailable, a deacon will hold a divine service, without the act of communion (Only Priests and up can consecrate Holy Communion).

Jehovah's Witnesses


Deacons among Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

 are referred to as ministerial servants, claiming it preferable to translate the descriptive Greek term used in the Bible rather than merely transliterate it as though it were a title. Appointed ministerial servants aid elders in congregational duties. Like the elders, they are adult baptized males and serve voluntarily.

Cognates


The Greek word diakonos (διάκονος) gave rise to the following terms from the history of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, not to be confused with each other: "dyak
Dyak (clerk)
Dyak is a historical Russian bureaucratic occupation whose meaning varied over time and approximately corresponded to the notions of "chief clerk" or "chief of office department"....

", "podyachy
Podyachy
A Podyachy or podyachiy was an office occupation in prikazes and lesser local offices of Russia in 15th-18th centuries....

", "dyachok
Dyachok
Dyachok was a historical name for the category of church workers in the history of Russia and Ukraine who were not ordained, i.e., not included into the official hierarchy of church offices.Among their duties were reading and singing....

", in addition to "deacon" and "protodeacon
Protodeacon
Protodeacon derives from the Greek proto- meaning 'first' and diakonos, which is a standard ancient Greek word meaning "servant", "waiting-man," "minister" or "messenger." The word in English may refer to various clergymen, depending upon the usage of the particular church in question.-Eastern...

".

Scots usage


In Scots language
Scots language
Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...

, the title deacon is used for a head-workman, a master or chairman of a trade guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

, or one who is adept, expert and proficient. The term deaconry refers to the office of a deacon or the trade guild under a deacon.

The most famous holder of this title was Deacon Brodie
William Brodie
William Brodie , more commonly known by his prestigious title of Deacon Brodie, was a Scottish cabinet-maker, deacon of the trades guild and Edinburgh city councillor, who maintained a secret life as a burglar, partly for the thrill, and partly to fund his gambling.-Career:By day, Brodie was a...

 who was a cabinet-maker and president of the Incorporation of Wrights and Masons as well as being a Burgh
Burgh
A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

 councillor of Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, but at night led a double life as a burglar. He is thought to have inspired the story of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The original pronunciation of Jekyll was "Jeekul" which was the pronunciation used in Stevenson's native Scotland...

.

See also


  • Archdeacon
    Archdeacon
    An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in Anglicanism, Syrian Malabar Nasrani, Chaldean Catholic, and some other Christian denominations, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. In the High Middle Ages it was the most senior diocesan position below a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church...

  • Cardinal deacon
  • Deaconess
    Deaconess
    Deaconess is a non-clerical order in some Christian denominations which sees to the care of women in the community. That word comes from a Greek word diakonos as well as deacon, which means a servant or helper and occurs frequently in the Christian New Testament of the Bible. Deaconesses trace...

  • Diakonissa
    Diakonissa
    Diakonissa is a Greek title of honor that is used to refer to a deacon's wife. It is derived from diakonos—the Greek word for deacon...

  • Protodeacon
    Protodeacon
    Protodeacon derives from the Greek proto- meaning 'first' and diakonos, which is a standard ancient Greek word meaning "servant", "waiting-man," "minister" or "messenger." The word in English may refer to various clergymen, depending upon the usage of the particular church in question.-Eastern...

  • Subdeacon
    Subdeacon
    -Subdeacons in the Orthodox Church:A subdeacon or hypodeacon is the highest of the minor orders of clergy in the Orthodox Church. This order is higher than the reader and lower than the deacon.-Canonical Discipline:...


Church of Christ

  • Introducing the Church of Christ. Star Bible Publications, Fort Worth, Texas
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Located in North Central Texas, just southeast of the Texas Panhandle, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly in Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and...

    76182.
  • Evangelicalism & the Stone-Campbell Movement (William R. Baker, ed. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002) for essays on Church of Christ ecclesiology.
  • Thatcher, Tom; "The Deacon in the Pauline Church" in Christ’s Victorious Church: Essays on Biblical Ecclesiology and Eschatology (Jon A. Weatherly, ed. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001).

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church


Lutheran Church