What is deacon?
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What Does deacon Mean
The Greek word diakonos , which translates to "servant," came to late Latin as diacŏnus . The notion arrived in our language as a deacon , a concept that is used in the field of religion .
The ecclesiastic is called a deacon who, according to the Christian branch, can fulfill different functions . Usually the deacon is in charge of providing assistance to the priest during the celebration of mass.
In this framework, it is a lower grade than that obtained by the religious who receives the sacrament of Holy Orders . San Francisco de Asís , San Lorenzo and San Esteban are some historical figures of Christianity who were deacons.
The Second Vatican Council was dedicated to defining the position of deacons in the structure of the Catholic Church, noting that they are in charge of receiving the laying on of hands in order to the ministry, not to the priesthood. A deacon serves the faithful in charity, word, and liturgy .
Many are the people who come to confuse what is the deacon with the priest. For this reason, it is necessary to discover their main differences, among which we can highlight the following:
-While the priest does have the so-called sacramental powers, the deacon does not have them.
-The priest can officiate the vast majority of the sacraments and the deacon cannot. However, the latter may be allowed to conduct a funeral. At a mass he will be in charge of, for example, reading the Gospel.
-The priest uses different types and colors of clothing based on the ceremony he is going to officiate or his degree. However, the deacon always wears a dalmatic and a crossed stole.
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore another series of aspects related to the deacon, among which are the following:
-His service is to the word of God and the Eucharist as well as in favor of charity, peace and justice.
-As a general rule, the formation that a man must carry out to become a deacon is made up of three phases or stages: the aspirantate, which lasts nine months; the candidacy, which lasts four years and is a very intense training period; continuous diaconal formation, which comes to refer to what is the entire active period of the former. A formation where both the spiritual, the pastoral and the human will be fundamental.
It is possible to differentiate between the temporary deacon and the permanent deacon . The transitional deacon is granted the ministry for a limited time and is then ordained as a priest by the bishop. The permanent deacon, on the other hand, maintains that degree, so this ordination can be conferred on men who have contracted marriage.
The Orthodox Church , the Coptic Church, and the Anglican Church also have deacons, usually dedicated to serving the community in a variety of ways. In the case of Anglican deacons, they can marry after ordination, unlike Catholic and Orthodox deacons.