Coptic Church · History & Tradition · Hymnology · Rites & Rituals

I Want To Be A Deacon – Part 1

Starting from today we will begina six part series on Deaconship in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Bishop Mettaous will lead us through this series as he explores what it means to be a deacon and the 5 main ranks in the Coptic Church. I hope you thoroughly Enjoy this series as Deaconship is part of Priesthood and it has its own blessings as well as duties associated with it.


“Deacon” is a Syrian word that means servant. In Greek, it is called “Deyakon”. The deacon’s main job is to help the priest or bishop in his religious service. The first church appointed seven deacons to serve tables, who were filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom, “Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said… therefore brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (Acts 6:2-3). “whom they set before the apostles, and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.” (Acts 6:6)

There are three qualifications in a deacon:

1- to must be filled with the Holy Spirit and wise
2- to be ordained deacons, through the laying of hands and praying
3- to carry out specific responsibilities

Our teacher St. Paul mentioned some other qualifications in his first epistle to his disciple Timothy, chapter 3:

“Likewise deacons must be:

1- reverent
2- not double tongued
3- not given too much wine
4- not greedy for money
5- holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience
6- ruling their children and their own houses well
7- they should be tested first, and then, if they pass the test, they are to serve.

“Being a deacon is the first and least rank in the priesthood ranks, St. Peter praises it saying, “For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ
Jesus.” (1Tim 3:13)

There are 5 ranks for deacons:

1. Epsaltos (hymnist)
2. Anaghanostos (reader)
3. Epidiakon (assistant deacon)
4. Deacon (full deacon)
5. Archdeacon (head of deacons)

To Be Continued…

Bishop Mettaous

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