What Cant a Deacon Do?
What Cant a Deacon Do
The word “deacon” evokes a variety of feelings. For some it’s a nostalgia for their childhood churches, while for others it’s a painful reminder of how the work of Christ’s Church has been hindered and harmed by those called to serve as specific servants. Regardless of how they feel about the word, Christians need to understand that it is a biblically mandated term of service (Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:2), and its role is inseparable from that of the elders.
It is a duty of elders and pastors to teach and shepherd the people of God; it is also their job to ensure that the physical needs of the congregation are met, so that the church can focus on its main mission, which is to spread the word of God. This is why it’s important that deacons don’t distract the elders with a wide array of practical demands, which can easily divert them from their primary duties.
There are a number of things that deacons can do, but some of them require the special ordination of a bishop. These ordinations are not the same as priesthood, but they do require that the person be a mature Christian who is dedicated to serving his local church.
The primary role of a deacon is to announce the Gospel to the church and to serve as an agent of evangelization in the wider community, through preaching, leading liturgical services, and teaching in religious education programs. He may also baptize, witness marriages, lead vigils for the deceased and funerals, and administer some sacramentals such as Confirmation.
2. Assisting the Mass
A deacon may assist the priest in a parish during the Eucharist, if he is authorized to do so by his bishop. He can read the Scriptures during Mass, and help recite the Prayer of Confession.
A deacon cannot hear confessions or administer the sacrament of penance, which is traditionally called “reconciliation.” He must ask the priest to do these things. He can, however, help a person prepare for this sacrament.
4. Holy Orders
Only a bishop can confer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which is an outright mandate from Jesus himself. He must be ordained by the bishop, and he can only do this when he is a very senior deacon who has been endorsed by his bishop.
A bishop can authorize a deacon to participate in a church’s visitation ministry, but they need to be aware that people may not want to be visited by the deacon. Instead, they prefer to be seen and heard by the pastor.
A deacon needs to be able to manage money properly, and they need to be trustworthy in their handling of funds. They should not be greedy or take advantage of church resources for their own benefit.
7. Faithful in all things
In the Bible, deacons are described as being blameless, husbands of one wife, good household managers, respectable, honest, not addicted to drink or greedy for sordid gain, and holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.