Most often people are ordained first as Deacon and then a year later as Priest – but there is growing interest in the ‘distinctive diaconate’. (see www.dace.org for more information)
A deacon is a publicly acknowledged figure who is given authority to represent Christ and his Church in a particular way. The ministry of a deacon is to be a servant, both within the Church and in the community. Deacons have a particular role during worship, especially at the Eucharist, where they perform certain liturgical tasks, e.g. reading the Gospel, dismissing the congregation at the end of the service.
Most deacons are later ordained priests, usually after one year, but some feel called to be life-long distinctive deacons. In the Ordination Service, the bishop says these words which express the heart of the ministry of a deacon: ‘Deacons are called to work with the bishop and the priests with whom they serve as heralds of Christ’s kingdom. They are to proclaim the gospel in word and deed, as agents of God’s purposes of love’.