A curate ( // , sometimes // ) is a person who is invested with the care or cure (cura) of souls of a parish. In this sense, "curate" correctly means a parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term curate is commonly used to describe clergy who are assistants to the parish priest. The duties or office of a curate are called a curacy.
The term is derived from the Latin curatus (compare Curator).
In other languages, derivations from curatus may be used differently. In French, the curé is the chief priest (assisted by a vicaire) of a parish,as is the Italian curato, the Spanish cura, and the Filipino term kura paróko (which almost always refers to the parish priest), which is derived from Spanish.
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In the Catholic Church, the English word "curate" is used for a priest assigned to a parish in a position subordinate to that of the parish priest. The parish priest (or often, in the United States, the "pastor" or "minister") is the priest who has canonical responsibility for the parish. He may be assisted by one or more other priests, referred to as curates, assistant priests,parochial vicars or (in America) "associate/assistant pastors".
In the Church of England today, "curate" refers to priests (or, in the first year, transitional deacons) who are in their first post after ordination (usually for four years), and are completing their training (not unlike an apprenticeship). The technical term "curate", as found in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, meant the incumbent of a benefice, that is the person licensed by the diocesan bishop to the "cure of souls", who, depending on how the benefice income was raised and distributed, was a rector, a vicar, or a perpetual curate.A vicar arises when a rectory was sold to lay rectors, which would often be a monastic house (such as abbey) or university college; a perpetual curacy where another priest or senior cleric has long-term control of the parish finances, granting an agreed stipend and general powers to the curate, albeit of theoretically of the same job security, below.
Although the expression "curate-in-charge" was mainly used of an informal arrangement whereby an incumbent gave most responsibility for one of the parish churches to an assistant, in law it denoted a cleric licensed by the bishop to exercise some or all of the cure of souls when the incumbent had failed to make adequate provision for them or was subject to disciplinary measures.Once in possession of their benefices, rectors and vicars enjoyed a somewhat locally varied array of rights, absolutely, a home in which to live without charge, and generally a generous income from the parish especially in the era of tithes, yet could be removed after due legal process and for a restricted number of reasons.
Perpetual curates were placed on a similar footing in 1838 and were commonly styled "vicars", and this practice was legally recognised in 1868.Clergy (both transitional deacons and priests) who assist the "curate" were, and are, properly called assistant curates, but are often referred to as "the curate".
A house provided for an assistant curate is sometimes colloquially called a "curatage". Assistant curates are also licensed by the bishop, but only at the request of the "curate", who had the right of dismissal subject to certain conditions.Although it is customary for a priest to serve as a curate in one or more parishes before becoming an incumbent, it is by no means unknown for priests who have previously been beneficed or consecrated bishop to return to a curacy (as assistant curate), sometimes as a matter of choice. For example, Geoffrey Francis Fisher served as Curate of Trent near Sherborne after retiring as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1961.
With the 1968 Pastoral Measure and subsequent legislation, the Church of England has undergone a major process of reform which still continues today, and much of above no longer holds good. Ministers in the Church of England whose main income comes from sources other than their work as clergy may be termed "self supporting ministers" or "curate (SSM)".
Terms like "rector" and "curate" were carried overseas with the spread of Anglicanism, but their exact meaning depends on local conditions and regulations. In the Church of Ireland some curates are styled "bishop's curates" as they are accountable directly to the diocesan bishop, while sometimes mentored by local parish clergy, and are perceived to have more autonomy than other assistant curates. [ citation needed ]
In Anglican parishes with a charismatic or evangelical (low church) tradition, the roles of curates are usually seen as being an assistant leader to the overall leader, often in a larger team of pastoral leaders. Many of the larger charismatic and evangelical parishes have larger ministry teams with a number of pastoral leaders, some ordained and others who are not. [ citation needed ]
In the Episcopal Church of the United States, the curacy may be a temporary place to continue training after ordination, similar to an internship,or it may be a permanent, subordinant position, more akin to a perpetual curate.
In the Church of England, the ongoing training of assistant curates is typically overseen by officers of the bishops called Initial Ministerial Education (IME) or Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) Advisers.
Originally a bishop would entrust a priest with the "cure of souls" (pastoral ministry) of a parish. When, in medieval Europe, this included the legal freehold of church land in the parish, the parish priest was a "perpetual curate" (curatus perpetuus), an assistant would be a (plain) curate (curatus temporalis).
The words perpetuus and temporalis distinguish their appointments but not the length of service, the apparent reference to time is accidental. A curate is appointed by the parish priest and paid from parish funds. A perpetual curate is a priest in charge of a parish who was (usually) appointed and paid by the bishop.
As the church became more embedded into the fabric of feudal Europe, various other titles often supplanted "curate" for the parish priest. "Rector" was the title given to a priest in possession of the tithe income. This right to the income was known as a "living". The title of rector comes from regere—"to rule".
Those parishes where a monastery had appropriated the rights to the tithe income, a portion of this income was set aside for a priest to occupy the parish, essentially acting on behalf of the monastery, in other words vicariously – hence "vicar". In some cases, a portion of a tithe for a vicar could exceed the income of some rectors, depending on the value of the livings being compared.
Minor canons are those clergy who are members of a cathedral's establishment and take part in the daily services but are not part of the formal chapter. These are generally clergy who are nearer to the beginning than the end of their ministries, who have already served their curacy (title post) in a parish church. They are often selected for their singing and liturgical ability.
A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest, often termed a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, and who operates from a parish church. Historically, a parish often covered the same geographical area as a manor. Its association with the parish church remains paramount.
A vicar is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior. Linguistically, vicar is cognate with the English prefix "vice", similarly meaning "deputy". The title appears in a number of Christian ecclesiastical contexts, but also as an administrative title, or title modifier, in the Roman Empire. In addition, in the Holy Roman Empire a local representative of the emperor, perhaps an archduke, might be styled "vicar".
A benefice or living is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The Roman Empire used the Latin term beneficium as a benefit to an individual from the Empire for services rendered. Its use was adopted by the Western Church in the Carolingian Era as a benefit bestowed by the crown or church officials. A benefice specifically from a church is called a precaria, such as a stipend, and one from a monarch or nobleman is usually called a fief. A benefice is distinct from an allod, in that an allod is property owned outright, not bestowed by a higher authority.
Advowson or patronage is the right in English law of a patron (avowee) to present to the diocesan bishop a nominee for appointment to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice or church living, a process known as presentation.
The term coadjutor is a title qualifier indicating that the holder shares the office with another person, with powers equal to the other in all but formal order of precedence.
A parson is an ordained Christian person responsible for a small area, typically a parish. The term was formerly often used for some Anglican clergy and, more rarely, for ordained ministers in some other churches. It is no longer a formal term denoting a specific position within Anglicanism, but has some continued historical and colloquial use.
Impropriation, a term from English ecclesiastical law, was the destination of the income from tithes of an ecclesiastical benefice to a layman. With the establishment of the parish system in England, it was necessary for the properties to have an owner. This was the parochianus or parson/rector who was sustained by the benefice income while providing personally for the cure-of-souls. The parson was technically a corporation sole. With the passage of time, the benefice came to be considered a piece of property whose holder could discharge the spiritual responsibilities by a deputy and many were appropriated by monasteries or other spiritual corporations. These were bound to provide for a cleric for the cure of souls in the parish but could use any excess income as they pleased. The deputy was often known as the 'vicar'.
The parson's freehold refers to a system within the Church of England in which the rector or vicar of a parish holds title to benefice property, such as the church, churchyard or parsonage, the ownership passing to his successor. This system is to be phased out, under the Ecclesiastical Offices Measure.
In English ecclesiastical law, the term incumbent refers to the holder of a Church of England parochial charge or benefice. The term "benefice" originally denoted a grant of land for life in return for services. In church law, the duties were spiritual ("spiritualities") and some form of assets to generate revenue were permanently linked to the duties to ensure the support of the office holder. Historically, once in possession of the benefice, the holder had lifelong tenure unless he failed to provide the required minimum of spiritual services or committed a moral offence. With the passing of the "Pastoral Measure 1968" and subsequent legislation, this no longer applies, and many ancient benefices have been joined together into a single new one.
A priest in charge or priest-in-charge in the Church of England is a priest in charge of a parish who is not its incumbent. Such priests are not legally responsible for the churches and glebe, but simply hold a licence rather than the freehold and are not appointed by advowson.
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.
Congrua is a canonical term to designate the lowest sum proper for the yearly income of a cleric.
Perpetual curate was a class of resident parish priest or incumbent curate within the United Church of England and Ireland. The term is found in common use mainly during the first half of the 19th century. The legal status of perpetual curate originated as an administrative anomaly in the 16th century. Unlike ancient rectories and vicarages, perpetual curacies were supported by a cash stipend, usually maintained by an endowment fund, and had no ancient right to income from tithe or glebe.
Amovibility is the condition that applies to Roman Catholic priests who can be removed from their parish or post by their bishop.
The Deanery of Cadbury represents the Church of England in mid Devon, within the Archdeaconry of Exeter and the Diocese of Exeter.
The Deanery of Christianity is a deanery in the Archdeaconry of Exeter, Diocese of Exeter. The deanery covers most of the city of Exeter. It takes the name "Christianity" because there is a tradition that a diocese and a deanery should not share the same name.
A glebe terrier is a term specific to the Church of England. It is a document, usually a written survey or inventory, which gives details of glebe, lands and property in the parish owned by the Church of England and held by a clergyman as part of the endowment of his benefice, and which provided the means by which the incumbent could support himself and his church. Typically, glebe would comprise the vicarage or rectory, fields and the church building itself, its contents and its graveyard. If there was an absentee rector the glebe would usually be divided into rectorial glebe and the rest. "Terrier" is derived from the Latin terra, "earth".
Vicar is the title given to certain parish priests in the Church of England. It has played a significant role in Anglican Church organisation in ways that are different from other Christian denominations. The title is very old and arises from the medieval arrangement where priests were appointed either by a secular lord, by a bishop or by a religious foundation. Wherever there is a vicar he shares the benefice with a rector to whom the great tithes were paid. Vicar derives from the Latin "vicarius" meaning a substitute.
The parish with its parish church(es) is the basic territorial unit of the Church of England. The parish has its roots in the Roman Catholic Church and survived the English Reformation largely untouched. Each is within one of 44 dioceses: divided between the thirty of the Canterbury and the fourteen of that of York. There are around 12,500 Church of England parishes.
A rector is, in an ecclesiastical sense, a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations. In contrast, a vicar is also a cleric but functions as an assistant and representative of an administrative leader.