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Mystery of the Holy Orders


The Church is a universal priesthood of believers. Yet among this universal priesthood, some are called to serve the Church in a particular way in the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church. The Mystery of Holy Orders calls men to serve the Body of Christ as deacons, priests and bishops through the laying on of hands, in which Christ Himself gives them the grace and power to perform this service in His name for the sake of His Body.


The traditional progression for a man in Holy Orders is the path through what are called "Minor Orders."  Minor Orders are ecclesiastical ministries which, according to Church teaching, "provide a specific service in the Church, and as such are to be effectively exercised by those who do not intend to enter the presbyterate."  Those in Minor Orders are "inserted in the ecclesiastical Hierarchy according to the level of each one.  Whoever has received these orders therefore, is no longer a lay person but becomes a member of [...] the Clergy or Holy Orders." -Instruction #73 & 75 

The Minor Orders currently in use in the Byzantine Churches are as follows: 
1. Reader (Acolyte) 
2. Subdeacon

Cantors can also be ordained to the Minor Orders as Readers.


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