Deacon?

I’ve never really understood what a deacon actually is. How do they differ from priests?

The deaconate is the office of the preacher. Their main duty is to proclaim the gospel at mass. They are also permitted to preach in homilies, give teachings, etc.

They are also ordinary ministers of that which the layity are extraordinary ministers: Communion, Baptism, and they can witness marriage.

They cannot hear confessions, confect the Eucharist, or do any other sacraments reserved for the priest.

Josh

You may find additional background on the diaconate at usccb.org/deacon/faqs.shtml and elsewhere by links at that site.

Cameron, are you a deacon in the Lansing diocese? :slight_smile:

Deacons will do a lot of the outreach work in the parish, also. My husband does the marriage/baptism prep classes, has a prison ministry, leads a lot of the devotions, and does all of the funeral vigils.

I’m not sure what threej_lc meant by witness marriages. Marriages performed by a deacon are just as licit and sacramental as those done in the context of a Mass. Deacons cannot administer the “healing” sacraments of Confession and Annointing of the Sick, and they may not confect the Eucharist. However, the deacon is the Ordinary Minister of the Cup.

[quote=Detroit Sue]'m not sure what threej_lc meant by witness marriages. Marriages performed by a deacon are just as licit and sacramental as those done in the context of a Mass. Deacons cannot administer the “healing” sacraments of Confession and Annointing of the Sick, and they may not confect the Eucharist. However, the deacon is the Ordinary Minister of the Cup.
[/quote]

Sue,

The term “witness marriages” is correct. The theology of marriage in the Latin Church says that the couple themselves are the ministers of the sacrament and that the official “witness” for the Church is a bishop, priest or deacon. In very exceptional cases a lay person can be appointed by the bishop to be the official witness.

Deacon Ed

Enjoying this post. There are now 17,000 Permanent Deacons in the Catholic Church in the U.S.A.- far more than any other country. If the number of these Ordinations continue, they will out number priests in the not too distant future. Most are married. Deacons are called to minister outside of the obvious parish framework: such as prisons, soup kitchens, hospitals, rest homes, Aids Hospices and many more places. We are called to go where the Church is not. I minister to shut ins and prisoners, as well as teach a Confirmation Prep class. It is impossible for priests to cover all these places . Deacons are suppose to be examples to lay people that all are called to serve the church. Lay people are much needed in all of these ministries. Unfortunately,the label of “Mini-priests” still shows that people do not understand our ministry.

Deacon Tony

Cameron, are you a deacon in the Lansing diocese?

I answered that one directly, but for the sake of other posters, yes.

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