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Hi Claudine, Thanks for reorganizing the article. It's much improved. There is one visible difference in the role of the deacon in Orthodox worship that I can see: if a priest is present, the priest (or perhaps the bishop if a bishop is present) will read the Gospel; the deacon might read the Gospel if a priest is not present. The deacon has a more prominent role in leading the people in the Litany, and in censing the icons and people, as well as "other duties as assigned." Perhaps you'll find a way to integrate this in smoothly; I'll see if I can find anything more complete.

Something else this article should probably discuss is the role of deaconesses, both historically and today. There are different views of history, as people sometimes try to interpret the history according to their ideas of what the role of "women in ministry" should be today. Wesley

Actually, the Orthodox service books call for the deacon to read the Gospel even when a priest or bishop is present.

Women in Catholicism[edit]

"This rule is not among the infallible dogmas of the church, unlike the rules for priesthood."

While I agree that it is not "infallible dogma" of the Church that women cannot be deacons, I dispute that it is "infallible dogma" that women cannot be priests. Various popes have declared that women are ineligible for Holy Orders, and Pope John Paul II, quoting Pope Paul VI, wrote in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that the Church lacks the authority to ordain women. However, these statements are not infallible; the only "infallible" statements are the two ex cathedra dogmas: the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. Any pope, including Benedict XVI, can "overturn" these statements by declaring that the Church does in fact have the authority to ordain women.

As a Catholic scholar, I would require very reputible proof before I would accept the claim that the position of the Church on the ordination of women is infallible. Essjay 12:20, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

With the Second Vatican Council's stance on episcopal collegiality and subsequent revisions of canon law, more statements of bishops are considered to be part of the infallible magisterium. When the bishops around the world, in union with the Pope, agree to some sort of doctrinal point, and the Pope accepts this as head of the college, that decision posesses infallibility (see Lumen Gentium §25, can. 337 §2 & can. 742 §2 of the 1983 code). It's not dogma, but it's still infallible. Ex cathedra statements and ecumenical councils define infallible dogma, but are not the only organs of infallibility, at least in the eyes of the Second Vatican Council. Ordinatio sacerdotalis was a supposed exercise of this non-dogmatic infallibility. Pmadrid 00:48, 27 January 2006 (UTC)hehehehehehehehehe

Married deacons in Orthodoxy[edit]

"A married deacon may not be elevated to the priesthood" might be true in the Eastern Rite Catholic churches, but it is absolutely not true in Orthodoxy. Where do you think we get married priests? JHCC 03:37, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I'm responsible, mea culpa! When I merged in "permanent deacon," I divided the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox/Anglican section into individual sections under that heading. I did a "cut and paste" of various sections, and when I cut and pasted that section, I forgot to remove that clause. I'm sorry, I'm a bad, bad man, and if anyone needs me, I'll be in the corner thinking about what I did. ;-> Essjay · talk 04:06, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)

I would like to add some material on deacons[edit]

What I would like to add is from a new document by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) entitled the: National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. It came out in February of 2005 and is copy righted. I am in the process of seeing if I can add a paragraph here and there without paraphrasing. If I do not get permission from the USCCB I would then submit my other additions in my own words with the source cited for community review first. Either way I will submit my proposed additions before posting to the site.

I would like to more clearly define the role of deacon in the article. But this is the first time I have done this, so I need to be sure I am following the guidelines of the Wikipedia community. I made a few minor corrections in capitalization and spelling on the page, but this would be more.

For purposes of full disclosure I am a Roman Catholic Deacon serving in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis, MN.

These are the sentences I propose to add for now:

Both priests and deacons are complimentary, but subordinate, participants in the apostolic ministry bestowed by Christ upon the apostles. Both minister under the direction of the local bishop. (Paraphrased from a post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, The Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World – Christifideles Laici – December 30, 1998 by Pope John Paul II.)

The deacon is ordained for service in both the sanctuary and the market place and is to be a living icon of Christ the Servant within the Church. (Paraphrased from both the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and life of Permanent Deacons in the United States and the Catechism of the Catholic Church number 1554)

By virtue of ordination, the Roman Catholic Deacon by ‘word and example’ places himself at the constant service of [his] brothers and sisters. (Paraphrased from the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and life of Permanent Deacons in the United States)

Please read the wikipedia rule: be bold. Just make sure that this addition goes into the section related to the correct religion. Also, please keep in mind WP:NPOV, since half of the world population does not think that Christ had any say to listen. Furthermore, please keep in mind that encyclopedia must be clear in its explanations, rather than poetic. Phrasing like "both the sanctuary and the market place" may be confusing. Why "both"? Why not in the wilderness of savages, where the word of God is badly missing? mikka (t) 17:31, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Style (Title)[edit]

The article had said that Deacons were called "Reverend Mister", however, in the case of Deacon how is a member of a religious order this is not true. I have tried to clarify this, however, my wording may on be the best.-- 23:14, 21 December 2005 (UTC) the love billiedeauon —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:45, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


I removed the following statement:

The First Council of Nicea, in 315, declared that deaconesses were to be counted among the laity (Canon 19).

This is a little sweeping. Canon 19 states:

Concerning the Paulianists who have flown for refuge to the Catholic Church, it has been decreed that they must by all means be rebaptized; and if any of them who in past time have been numbered among their clergy should be found blameless and without reproach, let them be rebaptized and ordained by the Bishop of the Catholic Church; but if the examination should discover them to be unfit, they ought to be deposed. Likewise in the case of their deaconesses, and generally in the case of those who have been enrolled among their clergy, let the same form be observed. And we mean by deaconesses such as have assumed the habit, but who, since they have no imposition of hands, are to be numbered only among the laity. [1]

Since this canon is specifically about the reception of repentant followers of Paul of Samosata, it is not an absolute statement about all deaconesses in the church as a whole. Furthermore, the canon states "in the case of their deaconesses [...], let the same form be observed." This "same form" refers to former clergy "found blameless and without reproach" being "rebaptized and ordained", but "deposed" if "unfit". It is possible that the "no imposition of hands" refers to an unacceptable variation in the Paulianist ordination for deaconesses, and the fathers of the council are clarifying that these women (who would normally be numbered among the laity since they did not have the proper ordination rite) are to be examined, rebaptized, and either ordained or deposed in the same manner as other Paulianists "who have been enrolled among their clergy". JHCC (talk) 15:37, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Bold textDeacon

The Bible (66 books from Genesis-Revelation) have very little to say about the specific position and duties of a deacon. In Acts 6:1-6 we see the first hint of the description of deacons (servants). In the Bible we have descriptive texts and prescriptive teachings. Here we see Luke recording the acts of the Apostles at this early stage in the New Testament Church. The description is that a need had arisen within the church and the "daily ministration" was not meeting all the needs. The concern was brought to the Apostles and they responded by having the congregation pick MEN from among the church to meet the need. The congregation was not to pick just anyone they felt should be serving but they had to pick 7 MEN full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, men of good reputation. The church responded to the Apostles decision by chosing 7 men to meet the need that apparently existed at that time. It should be noted that the qualification we later see within the Pauline epistle writen to Timothy regarding the deacon's position is consistant with that found in brief in Acts 6:1-6. There is much debate regarding the role of women in the church and being deaconesses. Although the text in Acts 6:1-6 appears to be specifically to men theologians and commentators disagree with whether or not 1 Timothy 3:8-12 includes women. The scriptures clearly speak of women deacons and we are all to be deacons in the sence that we serve one another, but as you look more intently at the role of a deacon (Acts 6; 1 Timothy 3)it is one who oversees the serving ministry and is specifically associated with the issue of funds and relief to the poor and needy within the congregation. Currently the Church has reduced the function of the Deacon to one who performs basic service duties around the church facility as opposed to a leader who can articulate his understanding of the Bible doctrines and biblically minister to the needs of the poor and needy while the pastor/teachers fill their days and weeks with prayer and studying the word of God. It has been said by some that the deacons are to be directed by the pastors and to serve them by taking care of the less important tasks within the churh family. This view is found nowhere within the text of scripture and is simply man's conformity to the surrounding culture and not the clear teaching and authority of the word of God. The deacons we see in Acts 6 were men full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom and were willing to die for their faith and stand up for the truth. Three of these men were martyrer for their faith. A Deacon is a very important function within the Christian Church and is not just a man or women who likes to serve. It is one of those God given gifts to the Church to assist the pastor/teachers and the rest of the congregation for the edification of the saints.


Heya! I added some information on the Lutheran diaconate, and reformatted the page to seperate the different protestant traditions (this seemed proper, as the Anglican communion is also protestant, but is understandably listed with the Catholics for this article.) Hope it suits! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jarrod Jabre (talkcontribs) .

not to be nitpicky, but Lutherans aren't Reform, Presbyterians are Reform, Lutherans are Protestant ;-) NovumTestamentum 19:12, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
That's a little bit nitpicky, since he said "reformated" not "reformed"! Said: Rursus 13:21, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Eh, in fact "reformatted". Said: Rursus 13:22, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Speaking of reformed: protestantism seems a bit short-shrifted in this article. I'm happy to try an help expand here (when I get a few spare minutes), but I think Reformed (Calvinist) practice in particular is entitled to its own sub-heading. The diaconate was (is) a very important institution in reformed churches beginning in Geneva, and evolved to fulfill broad set of charitable and disciplinary functions in Holland, Scotland, and the reformed churches in Germany, France, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:17, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Deacons solemnising marriages[edit]

The article claims that the idea that Anglican deacons cannot solemnise marriages is a myth. If so, it is one perpetuated in my copy of A Basic Church Dictionary. This is a CofE source, so perhaps it varies by province. Certainly RC deacons can bless marriages (and, in an emergency, the couple can simply declare their intention before two competent witnesses). Carolynparrishfan 05:35, 10 September 2006 (UTC).....Carolynparrishfan , I now see your comments under reformed/presbyterian below, and concur that this needs to be fleshed out a bit more. Sorry for the redundancy.

Br. Francis a Deacon?[edit]

This article states that St. Francis of Assisi was a Deacon when I thought he never took up Holy Orders (which in the Church are Deacon, Priest, or Bishop). It was my understanding that he was always a monk, leader of an order and that was all. If I am wrong, which I recognize I might be, could someone lead me to some information about St. Francis' becoming a deacon? Thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:24, 22 April 2007 (UTC).

To my understanding, Francis' status as a deacon is disputed. In the past, some have claimed that Francis was, in fact, a deacon, though no official record of this exists. Some cite Francis' choice to wear the tonsure as evidence of Holy Orders, yet this alone is not seen as definitive proof of such an appointment. Because Francis is not universally known to have been a Deacon, I've decided to remove the May 31, 2006 edit by EricStoltz asserting that St. Francis was a 'prominent deacon.' SPL Wolf 19:25, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Orthodox deacons[edit]

That last edit of mine really wasn't a reversion. I typed the summary incorrectly, then accidentally hit Save instead of Preview.

The paragraph I cut before was actually incorrect. Deacons are not "entitled" to wear the Riassa, but are separately blessed to wear it at the end of the service where they're ordained. This is not done at the ordination of a hierodeacon, since hierodeacons are monks and thus are already blessed to wear it -- they indeed are "entitled". This is, of course, universally done where the tradition is preserved, but the point is that it's not something that comes automatically with the office as does, for example, wearing the anteri for lower clergy.

It is also incorrect that a pectoral cross is a distinctive of the priesthood. It's actually a purely Russian practice for it to be awarded to all priests by default. This is not the case elsewhere, where it's not possible to tell a priest from a deacon by their street clothing. (It was for this reason that the Russian practice arose, when a tsar mistakenly asked a blessing from a deacon. With the cross he could always tell them apart.) But abbesses wear the pectoral cross as well, and are obviously not priests.

It's redundant to say that a deacon is entitled to wear clerical street clothing, since that's exactly what a riassa is. The fact that a priest or deacon is instructed to wear one during certain services doesn't change that, any more than the fact that an office worker may not wear a jacket and tie when not working means that a jacket and tie are not street clothing as well. But that "clerical clothing" may be worn on the street isn't something newly acquired with ordination to the diaconate anyway. Lower clergy may as well, without the riassa of course. TCC (talk) (contribs) 00:25, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Presbyterian/Reformed diaconate[edit]

I understand that Presbyterian and continental Reformed denominations have a threefold ministry of ministers, elders, and deacons. I wonder if anyone can add any info on the diaconate in denominations such as the Church of Scotland, Presbyterian Church USA, and Christian Reformed Church in North America. Carolynparrishfan 01:58, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

North American Lutheran Bias[edit]

Regarding Lutheran deacons, the description of the common practice should first treat how northern Europaean Lutherans deacons work, since that's the original area of Lutheranism, then the different N.A. Lutherans can be compared to the area of origin (hereby not indicating that this or that practice is better). What's gonna be written is prob. that the Lutheran deacons work very much like the Anglican ones, but I'll study the case more in detail, perhaps contributing with a personal experience touch (my deacon friends etc..). Peace in GOD! Said: Rursus 12:21, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, and by including only North American and Parvoo Lutherans we leave out the Lutheran churches of Germany--the most numerically (and perhaps historically) important. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

What is a (christian) deacon, really?![edit]

A position, yes, a function, yes. But what do they do? That said in the spirit of a wish to improve the introduction. Said: Rursus 13:45, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

section heading[edit]

section 5 is called "Amish", however other denominations are listed in Section 5. Should Section 5 be renamed "Other" and should "Amish" become a new subsection in Section 5? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

         Im sorry if this isnt what ur looking for  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:06, 19 October 2009 (UTC) 


I think it should say that Deacons in mormonism are children. When mormons refer to deacons in their church they are talking about 12 and 13 year old boys. this is pretty unique, generally when others christian religions refer to deacons they are not talking about children, and people unfamiliar with mormonism may be under the impression that it is a office generally held by adults. I am aware that the article on mormon deacons says this already. I believe that this fact is relevant to this page and should appear here also. Grabba (talk) 22:44, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Catholic married deacons[edit]

They are clerics ; theoretically, they are bound by the c. 277 which requires perfect chastity. But it seems that this canon is never applied. Why ? Is there any text ? --Plijno (talk) 12:51, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

  • It is understood as a consequence of c. 1042 § 1. See John P. Beal et al., New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law 1598 n. 279 (2002).  Glenfarclas  (talk) 16:43, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Thank you so much. I shall look at that book in a few days (I know where to find it in Paris (France), I had already used that book, which is very interesting). Thanks. --Plijno (talk) 06:44, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, actually, I did not find any convincing explanation in that "New Commentary". The problem is not that a married man can become a deacon, but : why a married deacon is not bound by the c. 277 ? And if he is not bound by c. 277, why the c. 288 did not mention it ? Thank you very much, anyway. --Plijno (talk) 23:01, 4 November 2010 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. Ucucha 00:26, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

DeaconDiaconate — I really don't see why men and women should be on two different articles, with "diaconate" only directing to the men Newman Luke (talk) 21:05, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, one reason might be that the term Diaconate is relatively unknown, while Deacon is in comparison quite a lot more commonly used. That may have something to do with historical gender bias, but Wikipedia is not the place to right any such perceived wrongs. olderwiser 23:50, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Bkonrad. The article could be made more unisex, though it is not bad, and there is probably utility in keeping deaconess separate. Johnbod (talk) 15:42, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
  • After a lot of confusion, I think I understand (?) that you're suggesting to alleviate this gender-disparity by moving Deacon to Diaconate, and subsequently expanding the article to encompass the content at Deaconess. This sounds like a merge proposal, not a move proposal. I have no opinion on whether a single article for both genders would be better, but I oppose making that decision in the form of a relocation of this article, without even a note at the Deaconess talk page. Propaniac (talk) 17:45, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The terms "deacon" and "deaconess" are not mere gender variants. Entirely appropriate to discuss in two separate articles, neither of which should be named Diaconate. If someone is offended that diaconate redirects to deacon, I wouldn't object to changing the redirect to Deacon (disambiguation). IMHO that would be less useful, but not terribly so. --AuthorityTam (talk) 22:02, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No Black Deacons?[edit]

No Black Deacons and Pastors? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Orthodox Deacon vestments - cuffs[edit]

"The last are worn under his sticharion, not over it as does a priest or bishop."  While this is technically true it is misleading.  The stichar worn by the priest corresponds to the alb of the western priest.  He wears the phelon over it, and so the stichar is not an outer garment.  The deacon's stichar is an outer garment and corresponds to the dalmatic.  If the names weren't the same no one would know they are the same vestment. --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 02:53, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

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