Isn’t being a deacon just a stepping-stone to the priesthood?
No, a deacon doesn’t have to become a priest. In fact, deacons comprise a complete and distinct order of ordained ministry within the three expressions of ordained priesthood: the diaconate (i.e. deacons), the presbyterate (i.e. priests) and the episcopacy (i.e. bishops). While deacons may, and now often do, pass through to other orders (i.e. to the presbyterate and episcopacy), most deacons originally served Christ within the life of the Church as deacons the rest of their lives. Do not accept mistaken, common stereotypes of the deacon as “an apprentice priest,” a “liturgical decoration (or functionary)” or even worse yet, “a super-acolyte!” Over the years, misconceptions have developed regarding appreciation of the diaconate, partly because it has been used in the past as a “stepping-stone to the priesthood” in an imbalanced manner. It is hoped the resources made available through this Web site describe a more healthy and correct vision of the diaconate as a “full” or “complete and distinct order” within the ordained ministry of the Orthodox Church. This is the ministry through the activity of the Holy Spirit that brings forth in a special way, the ministry of “Christ, the one who serves.”
Why don’t we have many deacons serving in our parishes?
What do I call a deacon?
How are the deacon’s vestments different from a priest’s?