ORDINATION

In the Church, there is a three-fold ministry or rank of clergymen. The three orders of clergy are deacon, priest, and bishop.

 

DEACON: The elevation of deacons is noted in Acts 6. The apostles prayed over them and laid their hands on them as a symbol of authority. The deacons were instructed to assist the apostles in serving the people. Even today, deacons assist at liturgical services and help with the administrative, charitable, and mission programs of the church.

 

PRIEST: This order evolved fully by the second century when the huge number of Christian converts made it necessary to increase the ordained ranks. As today, the priest's task was to preach, sanctify and celebrate the Lord's Supper, and be the leader of his flock in the bishop's name.

 

BISHOP: This office can be traced directly back to Christ who instituted the office through the Holy apostles. Originally, bishops served as parish heads, but as parishes grew, the office of priest was expanded and bishops began to serve at the head of groups of parishes.

 

There are minor orders as well, namely clerk (tbir) which consists of 4 orders: doorkeeper, reader, exorcist, and acolyte and the sub-diaconate (gisasargavak).