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Encyclopedia > Minor orders

The minor orders are the lowest ranks in the Christian clergy. The most recognized minor orders are porter, lector, exorcist, cantor and acolyte. In the Latin rite Catholic Church, the minor orders were replaced by ministries of lector and acolyte. In the Eastern Catholic Churches, the minor orders are reader (lector), chanter (cantor), taper-bearer (acolyte) and subdeacon. Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... In the Roman Catholic Church, the porter (Latin ostiarius) was the lowest of the minor orders prescribed by the Council of Trent. ... In some Christian churches, the Reader is responsible for reading aloud excerpts of the scripture at a liturgy. ... An exorcist is a person who performs exorcism, the ridding of demons or other supernatural beings who have possessed a person, or (sometimes) a building or other object. ... A cantor is a musician working in a church with responsibilities for the singing in the church. ... This article is about religious acolytes. ... The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ... The Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous particular Churches in full communion with the Pope in Rome. ... Subdeacon is a title used in various branches of Christianity. ...

Contents

History

The minor orders were until 1972 a part of the clergy of the Latin rite Catholic Church. During the Counter-reformation, the Council of Trent decided to formally define the "Orders" of the clergy. After induction into the clerical state through the tonsure, a seminarian could receive the first four, which were the minor orders. They consisted of: 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ... The Counter-Reformation or the Catholic Reformation was a strong reaffirmation of the doctrine and structure of the Catholic Church, climaxing at the Council of Trent, partly in reaction to the growth of Protestantism. ... The Council of Trent is the Nineteenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... A cleric is a member of the clergy of a religion, especially one that has trained or ordained priests, preachers, or other religious professionals. ... Tonsure is the practice of some Christian churches of cutting the hair from the scalp of clerics as a symbol of their renunciation of worldly fashion and esteem. ... A seminary or theological college is a specialized and often live-in higher education institution for the purpose of instructing students (seminarians) in philosophy, theology, spirituality and the religious life, usually in order to prepare them to become members of the clergy. ...

These four were called "minor orders" because perpetual celibacy was not a requirement for them; a seminarian who quit the seminary before becoming a subdeacon could still get married. After receiving all the minor orders, a seminarian could receive the major orders (subdeacon, deacon and priest). In the Roman Catholic Church, the porter (Latin ostiarius) was the lowest of the minor orders prescribed by the Council of Trent. ... In some Christian churches, the Reader is responsible for reading aloud excerpts of the scripture at a liturgy. ... An exorcist is a person who performs exorcism, the ridding of demons or other supernatural beings who have possessed a person, or (sometimes) a building or other object. ... This article is about religious acolytes. ... Clerical celibacy is the practice of various religious traditions in which clergy, monastics and those in religious orders (female or male) adopt a celibate life, refraining from marriage and sexual relationships, including masturbation and impure thoughts (such as sexual visualisation and fantasies). ... Subdeacon is a title used in various branches of Christianity. ... The term major orders was a part of the clerical terminology of the Roman Catholic Church before the Second Vatican Council. ...


Neither the minor orders nor the subdiaconate were a part of the sacrament of Holy Orders, but were instead viewed as preparatory offices. Although several medieval theologians regarded minor orders as sacramental, this view was abandoned, for the fundamental reason that neither minor orders nor the subdiaconate are of Divine or Apostolic origin. The rites by which they were conferred are quite different from ordination to holy orders. Minor orders were conferred by the presentation to the candidate of the appropriate instruments. The usual minister of minor orders was a bishop; but some abbots could give the tonsure and minor orders to their subjects.[1] In Christian belief and practice, a sacrament is a rite that mediates divine grace, constituting a sacred mystery. ... Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during a 2004 diaconate ordination liturgy Holy Orders in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, and Independent Catholic churches includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. ...


Present situation

The minor orders as stages before holy orders were abolished after the Second Vatican Council by Paul VI, though candidates for the priesthood must still receive the "ministries" of lector and acolyte before ordination. The duties formerly performed by members of the minor orders are now usually performed by the laity (altar boys had acted in liturgy as acolytes for centuries); see Catholic minister. The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, was an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church opened under Pope John XXIII in 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI in 1965. ... Paul VI, Giovanni Battista Enrica Antonia Maria Montini (September 26, 1897 – August 6, 1978), served as Pope from 1963 to 1978. ... Lector is a fictional character from Yugioh. ... This article is about religious acolytes. ... In religious organizations, the laity comprises all lay persons collectively. ... An altar server is a lay assistant to a member of the clergy during a religious service. ... Unlike in several Protestant churches, in the Roman Catholic Church the term minister is not commonly used to refer to a member of the clergy nor as a common term of address. ...


These orders are still bestowed upon Traditionalist Catholic (e.g. Society of St. Pius X) seminarians as they prepare for the priesthood. Indult Catholic seminaries have papal permission to do so (e.g. Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter). A 1950s Low Mass in Bohermeen, Ireland in the presence of a bishop and several priests and with the altar arranged for Eucharistic devotions to follow A traditionalist Catholic is a Roman Catholic who believes that there should be a restoration of the liturgical forms, public and private devotions, and... Archbishop LefebvreFounder of the Society of St. ... Indult Catholics is a term used to denote Roman Catholics who prefer to attend the Latin-language Tridentine rite of Mass as used prior to 1969 rather than the standard present-day form of the liturgy. ... The Priestly Fraternity of St. ...


Eastern Christianity

Eastern Christianity traditionally views the subdeacon as a minor order, unlike the practice of the West which considered it a major order. The other minor orders are reader (lector) and chanter (cantor), taper-bearer (acolyte). The minor order of porter is mentioned historically in some service-books, but no longer is given. All of the rights and responsibilities of each minor order are viewed by some authorities as contained in the subdiaconate, and so there is no obligation, according to these authorities, to receive every historical minor order before becoming a subdeacon.[1]


See also

  • Holy Orders

Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during a 2004 diaconate ordination liturgy Holy Orders in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, and Independent Catholic churches includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. ...

References

  1. ^ a b Catholic Encyclopedia (1913). Minor Orders.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Holy Orders (5604 words)
Order is used to signify not only the particular rank or general status of the clergy, but also the outward action by which they are raised to that status, and thus stands for ordination.
For admission to minor orders, the testimony from the parish priest or from the master of the school where the candidate was educated--generally, therefore, the superior of the seminary--is required.
Minor orders may be conferred in any place, but it is understood that they are given in the church.
Minor orders - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (462 words)
In the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches, the minor orders are lector and subdeacon.
The minor orders were until 1972 a part of the clergy of the Latin rite Catholic Church.
Minor orders were conferred by the presentation to the candidate of the appropriate instruments.
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