Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church 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 office; in others it is for laity.
The word "deacon" is derived from the Greek word diakonos (διάκονος), which is a standard ancient 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, to assist with the charitable work of the early church as recorded in Acts 6. Female deacons are mentioned by Pliny the Younger in a letter to Trajan 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 deacon, and of their household, can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1-13.
Among the more prominent deacons in history are Phoebe, the only person actually called "deacon" in Scripture; Stephen, the first Christian martyr (the "protomartyr"); Philip, whose baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch is recounted in Acts 8:26-40; Saint Lawrence, an early Roman martyr; Saint Vincent of Saragossa, protomartyr of Spain; Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the mendicant Franciscans; Saint Ephrem the Syrian 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, Thomas Becket and Reginald Pole.
The title is also used for the president, chairperson, or head of a trades guild in Scotland; and likewise to two officers of a Masonic Lodge.
Other articles related to "deacon":
... of only three petitions, chanted by the deacon (if there is no deacon, the priest says his parts) ... there is a prayer which is said silently by the priest while the litany is being recited Deacon Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord ... Deacon Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace ...
... Thomas Russ Deacon (3 January 1865 - 30 May 1955) was a Canadian politician, the 24th Mayor of Winnipeg in 1913 and 1914 ... Deacon was born in Perth, Canada West ... working on the water systems in North Bay, Ontario and on gold mining in Rat Portage, Deacon moved to Winnipeg in 1902 and by 1906 joined the city's ...
... Departure" Kno (Interlude) 2 "Nothing But Strangeness" Kno Deacon the Villain, Natti, Looptroop Rockers, Hilltop Hoods 3 "Lynguistics (Live in Stockholm)" Kno Kno, Deacon the Villain 4 "M ... DeVille, Fischscales, Young Chu, Sheisty Khrist 13 "Don't Leave (When Winter Comes)" Kno Deacon the Villain, Slug, Natti 14 "The Distance" Kno Tonedeff 15 "Broken ...
... Deacon is located at 40°38′02″N 86°19′02″W / 40.63389°N 86.31722°W / 40.63389 -86.31722 ...
... Stone Cold Crazy (Robin Zander) - 338 - Mercury, May, Deacon, Taylor Play the Game (Mickey Thomas) - 457 - Mercury Fat Bottomed Girls (Joe Lynn ...
Famous quotes containing the word deacon:
“In a Kelton church, when a heated argument once began at morning services, a devout old deacon arose from his seat in the amen corner and announced he was going to do for the church what the devil had never doneleave it.”
—Administration in the State of Sout, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“Deacon King was tried for violating the Sabbath, and so hot was the debate that it was referred to the church council, which ultimately decided, after long and grave debate, that the deacon had committed a work of necessity and mercy.”
—For the State of Massachusetts, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)