edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
I was wondering, why doesn't our Coptic church ordain more archdeacons? It seems the Greeks and Russians have a good number, as well as a greater number of full rank deacons. From what I know, this rank of deacon is very honorable, and is associated with many services related to the church. I know that the California diocese has two or three, but being from the Southern US diocese (Abba Youssef), we don't have any deacons or archdeacons. What's the deal?


  • Akhenaton,
    Great question. I have wondered this myself for quite a while. The answer seems to be that the rank of archdeacon is not an easy rank. One must go through the 4 ranks before it before becoming a candidate for archdeacon. The responsibilities for an archdeacon are heavily weighed and measured as being huge to the normal running of the Church the archdeacon serves. Check out and scroll down to Archdeacon to read the requirements and responsibilities. One must be prepared and allowed to by the priest and congregation of that Church the archdeacon will serve. It takes a special type of person to become an archdeacon. I personally know of only one full Deacon from New Jersey (I believe) in the metro area. Many are still learning and under the apprenticeship of deacons to learn the skills better and to serve God better.

    Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I will go into them, and praise the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter into it. (Psalm 117:19-20),
    - Chris
  • I guess the only thing really stopping anybody from progressing in their rank is the person themselves. The more time and effort an individual contributes towards reaching this rank to become closer to god, the faster the person will achieve this and in effect the more archdeacons there will be. Also, its seen from the link provided, an extensive check list in order for somebody to be considered for the position. These things might all play a part in why there is a deficit of arch deacons in the church.
  • Yes, it is a serious rank. It just seems odd the Eastern Orthodox have more of them. I was thinking the reason behind that was because in their churches, the deacon (full rank) and archdeacons are needed in the liturgies and other church-related procedures. In our Coptic church, it seems the rank is more service-related than liturgical or ceremonial (which I would think is more accurate to the early church's role for the archdeacon). Thanks guys for the link and enlightening.
  • quick fact...
    once a man becomes an archdeacon, he becomes consecrated to the church... he becomes almost a like a monk living amongst us laymen... i'm guessing more ppl don't jump at the opportunity to become archdeacons since it is truly a lifetime commitment to the church and nothing else... also... all priests are ordained as full deacons before they are ordained... so in a sense we have quite a few archdeacons.. :) think of it as "all priests are deacons but not all deacons are priests" (aaa.. sounds like some equation..)
    did you know that they're allowed to give the Blood during communion time if need be? cool huh..
  • arch deacon is a very high role which many are not worthy of, however in australia, where im from, we have like 4 or 5, in our church, but ive gosta say our church, St Mark church is pretty unique...
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