The Role of the Deacon
Deacons are members of the clergy along with priests and bishops. The deacon’s ministry has three dimensions: liturgy, word and service. At the liturgy, he assists the bishop and priests. At the Mass, the deacon proclaims the Gospel, may be invited to preach the homily, and assists at the altar. The deacon may also baptize, witness and bless marriages, preside at the Liturgy of the Hours, and preside at funeral liturgies among many other duties.
Living in the world, deacons have a particular sensitivity to the needs of real families – including single parents, students, older people, those with disabilities, the incarcerated and those who suffer from poverty or addictions of many kinds.
All Christians are called, but the deacon serves with a special grace – a unique authority and humble power. He is responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. He is sent by the Church to be the presence of Christ to those in need.