|—n , pl -tries|
|1.||a. the profession or duties of a minister of religion|
|b. the performance of these duties|
|2.||ministers of religion or government ministers considered collectively|
|3.||the tenure of a minister|
|4.||a. a government department headed by a minister|
|b. the buildings of such a department|
|[C14: from Latin ministerium service, from minister servant; see |
in Christianity, the office held by persons who are set apart by ecclesiastical authority to be ministers in the church or whose call to special vocational service in a church is afforded some measure of general recognition. The type of ministry varies in the different churches. That which developed in the early church and is retained by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Old Catholic, Anglican, and some Protestant churches is episcopal (see episcopacy) and is based on the three orders, or offices, of bishop, priest, and deacon.
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