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An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in the Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, St Thomas Christians, Eastern Orthodox churches and some other Christian denominations, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. In the High Middle Ages it was the most senior diocesan position below a bishop in the Catholic Church. An archdeacon is often responsible for administration within an archdeaconry, which is the principal subdivision of the diocese. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church has defined an archdeacon as "A cleric having a defined administrative authority delegated to him by the bishop in the whole or part of the diocese."The office has often been described metaphorically as that of oculus episcopi, the "bishop's eye".
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In the Latin Catholic Church, the post of archdeacon, originally an ordained deacon (rather than a priest), was once one of great importance as a senior official of a diocese. The duties are now performed by officials such as auxiliary or coadjutor bishops, the vicar general, and the episcopal vicars. The title remains.
The term "archdeacon" appears for the first time in Optatus of Mileve's history of Donatism of about 370, in which he applies it to someone who lived at the beginning of that century. From the office of the diaconus episcopi, a deacon whom the bishop selected to administer the church's finances under the bishop's personal direction, the office of archdeacon gradually developed, as certain functions were reserved to him by law. These functions included not only financial administration but also the discipline of the clergy, and examination of candidates for priesthood. From the 8th century, there was in the West a further development of the authority of the archdeacon, who now enjoyed a jurisdiction independent of the bishop.
Large dioceses had several archdeaconries, in each of which the archdeacon (usually by now a priest), had an authority comparable to that of the bishop. He was often appointed not by the bishop but by the cathedral chapter or the king. However, from the 13th century, efforts were made to limit their authority. This was effected in part by the institution of the new office of vicar general. In 1553, the Council of Trent removed entirely the independent powers of archdeacons. Those who had been in charge of different parts of the diocese gradually ceased to be appointed. Only the archdeacon associated with the cathedral chapter continued to exist as an empty title, with duties almost entirely limited to liturgical functions.
The title of archdeacon is still conferred on a canon of various cathedral chapters,and the word "archdeacon" has been defined in relation to the Latin Catholic Church as "a title of honour conferred only on a member of a cathedral chapter".
However, Eastern Catholic Churches still utilize archdeacons.
Archdeacons serve the church in part of a diocese by taking particular responsibility for all buildings, the welfare of clergy and their families and the implementation of diocesan policy for the sake of the Gospel.An archdeaconry is their territorial division; these vary in number according to the size of the diocese and in a few, mainly English, cases an assistant (Suffragan) Bishop will also stand in as Archdeacon, as applied to the Archdeaconry of Bodmin 1953–62 (which is one of two archdeaconries in the Diocese of Truro). A later, possibly lasting instance, is in the role of Bishop suffragan(-Archdeacon) of Ludlow (in Shropshire).
They are usually styled The Venerable instead of their usual clerical style of The Reverend . In the Church of England the role can only be held by a priest who has been ordained for at least six years. (This rule was introduced in 1840. The rule that they be in priest's orders was enacted in 1662.)In the Church of England, the legal act by which a priest becomes an archdeacon is called a collation . If that archdeaconry is annexed to a canonry of the cathedral, they will also be installed (placed in a stall) at that cathedral, in practice working largely in the chapter offices.
In some other Anglican churches they can be deacons instead of priests; such archdeacons often work with the bishop to help with deacons' assignments to congregations and assist the bishop at ordinations and other diocesan liturgies. The Anglican ordinal presupposes (it is policy by default) that every Archdeacon helps to examine candidates for ordination and presents the most suitable candidate(s) to the ordaining bishop.In some parts of the Communion where women cannot be consecrated as bishops, the position is the most senior office a female cleric can hold: this being so, for instance, in the (Anglican) Diocese of Sydney.
Very rarely, "lay archdeacons" have been arisen, most notably the former Anglican Communion Observer to the United Nations, Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatagaloa-Leota, who retained her title after having served as Archdeacon of Samoa.[ citation needed ]
In the Eastern Christian churches (Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches), an archdeacon is the senior deacon within a diocese and has responsibility for serving at hierarchical services (those at which the bishop is present and presiding). He has responsibility for ensuring the smooth running of the service by directing the clergy and servers as appropriate. As such, he usually travels with the ruling bishop to various parts of the diocese, and will sometimes act as his secretary and cell attendant, ensuring that he is able to balance his monastic life with his hierarchical duties. The archdeacon wears the double orarion, which is twice the length of the usual orarion, and wraps under the right arm as well as hanging from the left shoulder. An archdeacon may come from either the monastic or married clergy.
A protodeacon also wears the double orarion, although he is distinguished from the archdeacon in that he is the senior deacon at a cathedral or other principal church within a diocese and serves as the principal deacon when a number of deacons serve together.
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According to the canons of the Eastern churches, an archdeacon is of the highest priestly rank: he is the head of all the clerics belonging to a bishopric; he is responsible for the whole worship of the cathedral church and represents the will of the bishop in his absence. However, from the local point of view, the rank of an archdeacon was more important than this; not only was he the most important priest of the community, but he also fulfilled the role of an ethnarch. An archdeacon was the "prince and head of the Christians of Saint Thomas" and had such titles as "Archdeacon and Gate of All India, Governor of India". The origin and the meaning of the term "gate" is mysterious. While the Catholicos Patriarch of Seleucia-Ctesiphon reserved for himself the right to send his own prelates originating from Iraq to the Indian diocese, the continuous governance of his Indian flock was secured by the indigenous Archdeacon serving as the head of all the priests in Malabar and representing the bishop's will.
According to the traditional structure, the Indian Church of the East was governed by a metropolitan sent by the Catholicos Patriarch. At the same time, at the local level, in India, church affairs were governed by the Malabar Assembly or Malankara Yogam. There was also an indigenous head of the Church of Malabar, the "head of the caste", that is the head of the St Thomas Christians called Jathikku Karthavyan or Malankara Mooppen[ citation needed ]. Patriarch Timothy (780–826) of Persia called him the head of the faithful in India.
While originally an archdeacon in the Church of the East was elected by the bishop according to merit, the office of the Archdeacon of India seems to have been dynastic. It was the privilege of the Pakalomattam family, at least from the sixteenth century onwards. Indeed, we know about a number of Pakalomattam archdeacons, beginning with 1502, when Metropolitan John of India appointed George Pakalomattam. The name of the family varies, and the family seems to be identical with the Parambil family, translated into Portuguese as 'de Campo'.
An archdeacon had all the attributes of a secular leader and was normally escorted by a number, sometimes several thousands, of soldiers. It is important to note that while there could be several bishops appointed for the Malabar Church, there was always only one archdeacon, a custom contrary to the canons of the Church of the East. This situation is best explained by the fact that from the point of view of the East Syriac Church structure the archdeacon had an ecclesiastical function, but from that of the St Thomas Christian community he had also a socio-political, princely function, representing the unity of the Christian nation, or caste(s), of Hindoo (India). Portuguese colonists stopped this practice among the Syro-Malabar Catholic and Pulikkottil Mar Dionysious stopped this amongst the Malankara Syrian Church later in 1816.
In the Coptic Orthodox church, an archdeacon is the highest rank in the order of deacons.The lower ranks of the diaconate are deacon, subdeacon, lector and cantor, the holders of which ranks the Coptic people generically refer to as "deacons". However, the rank of archdeacon is lower than the rank of a priest. Thus it is possible for a deaconess to be appointed to the rank of an archdeaconess within the Coptic Orthodox tradition.
In certain Christian denominations, holy orders are the ordained ministries of bishop, priest (presbyter), and deacon, and the sacrament or rite by which candidates are ordained to those orders. Churches recognizing these orders include the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, Independent Catholic and some Lutheran churches. Except for Lutherans and some Anglicans, these churches regard ordination as a sacrament.
Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the terms used for individual clergy are clergyman, clergywoman, clergyperson, churchman, and cleric, while clerk in holy orders has a long history but is rarely used.
A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Scandinavian Lutheran Churches, the Methodist Churches, the Anglican Communion, and the Free Church of England, view the diaconate as an order of ministry.
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) also known as the Indian Orthodox Church (IOC) or simply as the Malankara Church, is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church headquartered in Devalokam, near Kottayam, India. The church serves India's Saint Thomas Christian population. According to tradition, these communities originated in the missions of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. It employs the Malankara Rite, an Indian form of the West Syriac liturgical rite.
Subdeacon is a minor order or ministry for men in various branches of Christianity. The subdeacon has a specific liturgical role and is placed between the acolyte and the deacon in the order of precedence.
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.
Vestments are liturgical garments and articles associated primarily with the Christian religion, especially by Eastern Churches, Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans. Many other groups also make use of liturgical garments; this was a point of controversy in the Protestant Reformation and sometimes since, in particular during the ritualist controversies in England in the 19th century.
The stole is a liturgical vestment of various Christian denominations, which symbolizes priestly authority; in Protestant denominations which do not have priests but use stoles as a liturgical vestment, however, it symbolizes being a member of the ordained. It consists of a band of colored cloth, usually of silk, about seven and a half to nine feet long and three to four inches wide, whose ends may be straight or may broaden out in the shape of a spade or bell. The center of the stole is worn around the back of the neck and the two ends hang down parallel to each other in front, either attached to each other or hanging loose. The stole is almost always decorated in some way, usually with two crosses, or sometimes another significant religious design. It is often decorated with contrasting galloons and fringe is usually applied to the ends of the stole following Numbers 15:38–39. A piece of white linen or lace may be stitched onto the back of the collar as a sweat guard, which can be replaced more cheaply than the stole itself.
The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, also known as the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church, is an Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church in full communion with the worldwide Catholic Church possessing self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. It is one of the major archiepiscopal churches of the Catholic Church. It is headed by Major Archbishop Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos of the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum based in Kerala, India.
In Christianity, a minister is a person authorised by a church or other religious organization to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to the community. The term is taken from Latin minister. In some church traditions the term is usually used for people who have ordained, but in other traditions it can also be used for non-ordained people who have a pastoral or liturgical ministry.
The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, often shortened to Mar Thoma Church, and known also as the Reformed Syrian Church and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, is an autonomous Reformed Oriental church based in Kerala, India. While continuing many of the Syriac high church practices, the church is reformed in its theology and doctrines. It employs a reformed variant of the West Syriac Rite Divine Liturgy of Saint James, translated to Malayalam.
A dean, in an ecclesiastical context, is a cleric holding certain positions of authority within a religious hierarchy. The title is used mainly in the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and many Lutheran denominations. A dean's assistant is called a sub-dean.
The Synod of Diamper , held at Udayamperoor in June 1599, was a diocesan synod, or council, that created rules and regulations for the ancient Saint Thomas Christians of the Malabar Coast, a part of modern-day Kerala state, India, formally subjugating them and downgrading their whole Metropolitanate of India as the Diocese of Angamale, a suffragan see to the Archdiocese of Goa administered by Latin Church Padroado missionaries. This synod also introduced forced Liturgical Latinisation and the eschewal of local practices and beliefs, leading to a significant ecclesial protest by Saint Thomas Christians known as Coonan Cross Oath and a subsequent schism in the mid-17th century.
The Coonan Cross Oath, also known as the Great Oath of Bent Cross, the Leaning Cross Oath or the Oath of the Slanting Cross, taken on 3 January 1653 in Mattancherry, was a public avowal by members of the Saint Thomas Christians of the Malabar region in India, that they would not submit to the Jesuits and Latin Catholic hierarchy, nor accept Portuguese dominance in ecclesiastical and secular life. There are various versions about the wording of oath, one version being that the oath was directed against the Portuguese, another that it was directed against Jesuits, yet another version that it was directed against the authority of Church of Rome
A deanery is an ecclesiastical entity in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, the Evangelical Church in Germany, and the Church of Norway. A deanery is either the jurisdiction or residence of a dean.
The Anglican ministry is both the leadership and agency of Christian service in the Anglican Communion. "Ministry" commonly refers to the office of ordained clergy: the threefold order of bishops, priests and deacons. More accurately, Anglican ministry includes many laypeople who devote themselves to the ministry of the church, either individually or in lower/assisting offices such as lector, acolyte, sub-deacon, Eucharistic minister, cantor, musicians, parish secretary or assistant, warden, vestry member, etc. Ultimately, all baptized members of the church are considered to partake in the ministry of the Body of Christ.
The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church (JSCC), or the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in India also known as Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the Jacobite Syrian Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church in India, is a catholicate based in Kerala, India, of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and part of the Oriental Orthodox Church. It recognizes the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East as supreme head of the church. It functions autonomously within the church, administered by the Metropolitan Trustee, under the authority of the Maphrian of India, Baselios Thomas I. Following schism with the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, is currently the only church in Malankara that is directly under a Syriac Christian Antiochian hierarchy, claiming continuity to the 1665 schism. The church employs the West Syriac Rite Liturgy of Saint James.
The Malankara Church, also known as Puthenkur and more popularly as Jacobite Syrians, is the historic unified body of West Syriac Saint Thomas Christian denominations which claim ultimate origins from the missions of Thomas the Apostle. This community, under the leadership of Thoma I, opposed the Padroado Jesuits as well as the Propaganda Carmelites of the Latin Church, following the historical Coonan Cross Oath of 1653. The Malankara Church's modern-day descendants include the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church, the Malabar Independent Syrian Church, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the Saint Thomas Anglicans of the Church of South India.
The Saint Thomas Christian denominations are Christian denominations from Kerala, India, which traditionally trace their ultimate origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. They are also known as "Nasranis" as well. The Syriac term "Nasrani" is still used by St. Thomas Christians in Kerala.
Jacob Pakalomattam was an Archdeacon of the Saint Thomas Christian community in India in the years preceding the Synod of Diamper in 1599. He was a native of Muttuchira and belonged to the Pakalomattam dynastic family. His activities were based in the Church of Ruha d'Qudisha in Muttuchira. He owed his staunch allegiance to the traditionalist Eliah Patriarchate of the Church of the East and Metropolitan Mar Shemon, who was sent to India by Patriarch Eliya VI Barmama. He protested against the latinising attempts of the Portuguese Padroado and resisted the Chaldean Catholic attempts of reconciliation led by Joseph Sulaqa and Abraham of Angamaly. Throughout his archdeaconate, he is known to have rebelled against the Chaldean Catholic archdeacons including Givargis of Cross.