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[dahy-ak-uh-nit, -neyt] /daɪˈæk ə nɪt, -ˌneɪt/
the office or dignity of a deacon.
a body of deacons.
1720-30; < Late Latin diāconātus. See deacon, -ate3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diaconate
  • Some deacons remain permanently in the diaconate, many go on to be ordained priests.
British Dictionary definitions for diaconate


/daɪˈækənɪt; -ˌneɪt/
the office, sacramental status, or period of office of a deacon
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin diāconātus; see deacon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for diaconate


(from Greek diakonos, "helper"), a member of the lowest rank of the threefold Christian ministry (below the presbyter-priest and bishop) or, in various Protestant churches, a lay official, usually ordained, who shares in the ministry and sometimes in the governance of a congregation. In churches in which the diaconate exists there is a general continuity, at least in principle, with the early Christian pattern of deacons as a basic but subservient ministerial order and as helpers responsible for the practical and charitable functions of the Christian community. In the Orthodox, the Anglican, and (until the 1960s) the Roman Catholic churches, the diaconate in practice almost entirely lost its original independent status as one of the major orders and became in effect a transitional probationership for ordination to the priesthood, customarily lasting for a year.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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