Hearing in the church from parishioners that a cleric will preach, I (I confess, until I only get acquainted with the world of the Orthodox religion), at first thought that they had entrusted the performance to some of the venerable parishioners who often help in the temple. But the father came out. I could not restrain myself and after the service I went to ask why he was called a cleric and whether it was a mistake. Of course, she blushed, as it was a bit awkward (it seemed that I was asking about the elementary, which everyone knows about here). Batyushka praised for curiosity and explained everything to me.
So the cleric is ...
Reader, that is, a person who reads psalms in church. In the old days, this title sounded different. And if in classical literature you see the word "deacon", you know - this is the same reader, but in the present - the cleric.
According to the church hierarchy, the rank of cleric is the lowest of all (below is only the clergy) and has not even been raised to the level of priesthood. So, even though many turn to the cleric "father," he is not always a priest.
The church considers the cleric to be a very important figure - it depends on him how the believers will understand and accept the Scripture and the sermon. After all, if people (even enlightened, even in this age of the Internet) do not correctly interpret many difficult places of the Gospel in time, their hearts may not open to Truth.
By the way, there is also an opinion that a cleric is generally any spiritual person who helps with worship.
And there are three spiritual clergymen:
- bishop or bishop (high rank),
- priest or presbyter
- deacon (this is a priest, but of the lowest rank).
That is, clerics can be representatives of any order who are not laymen.
How did this church order come about: a bit of history
In the Orthodox Church, the rank of reader appeared before the end of the 19th century.
In olden days, the deacon not only read the Scripture, but also explained the meaning of difficult places, or translated texts if the faithful did not understand the language of the church book. This was relevant not only for settlements with "national minorities" or other countries (after all, Orthodox churches were built in Armenian, Greek quarters, as well as in these countries), but also for Russians, because the language of church books and everyday speech was significantly different.
So it is not hard to guess that this rank was chosen by a person not only competent and well-versed in the wisdom of Orthodoxy, but also able to communicate with people and generally smart.
In addition to the actual reading, clerics:
- could read sermons (this, incidentally, has not changed to this day),
- taught children in Sunday schools,
- sang church hymns,
- engaged in charity
- could perform various orders of the priest.
Who can become a cleric?
First, only a male face (such a tradition has been kept in Orthodoxy since ancient times, while a woman can even become a priest among Protestants).
Secondly, since 1994, the clerics accept:
- each graduate of a theological seminary,
- from the age of 15 (whereas as a messenger from the age of 7, or from the age of 7, as a gift from the age of 7, actually, so many messengers can be so young).
Makes such a dedication abbot or bishop. For this, a special rite has been created, it is called "ordination" (the word is translated as "dedication").
Sometimes the clergy’s dignity is only a couple of minutes before a person is ordained a deacon.
Interestingly, if a cleric is not married, he can marry. If he is ordained to a higher church order (subdeacon and beyond), he will not be able to enter into marriage.
The duties of this man these days
There are a number of church rules, written and unwritten, which all ecclesiastics should adhere to.
- A minister of the church should not engage in business activities, because the Son of God has also expelled the merchants from His Father's House. This ban also applies to work in a public office - the holy father does not belong to worldly affairs, but only from God.
- He is forbidden to serve in the army, because it implies a willingness to kill other people, if suddenly there is a war.
- You can not shed blood. It also means that a cleric (and a priest) cannot kill an animal and even be a doctor (especially a surgeon, but also a veterinarian too), and, of course, a hunter.
- Under the ban, gambling is the work of the devil.
- Well, the most important thing: a church minister must be an example for the congregation. Competent speech, lack of anger and foul language - that's how it should look. And if he decides to start a family, then his spouse, as well as his father, he must also become exemplary.
Then what does the word "clear" mean?
Clergy make up all the ministers of faith in general. I.e:
- priests (priests in the people),
- deacons (ministers who help the priest, but for the time being cannot independently rule the services),
- subdeacons (deacons' assistants),
- readers (that is, clerics),
- ponomari (officially the gatekeepers, as well as the bell-ringers - they also serve in the liturgy and sing in the choir)
- senior singers (regents, that is, choir leaders),
- treasurers, as well as elders (in the old way - ktitori) temples.
The word “clear” has an even less well-known synonym: “pricht”.
In the old days, singers were considered among the clergy, but today they are not. Now only people who are dedicated to this are officially in the clergy.
But what is choir? In Orthodox churches, this is the place where readers and choristers stand. This is the incarnation of that part of heaven in which the angels sing the glory of God.
And at the end we traditionally offer a video - short, but very informative. It is recorded in the Holy Spirit Cathedral. This is a sermon that tells about the miracle of faith, as well as the blind cleric: