Difference between Deacon and Priest

Just like other similar terms, people who are a little far from religion fail to differentiate between Deacon and Priest or subsequently, they mix them up. There are basically three Holy Orders in each of the Roman Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Eastern Catholic, Old and Independent Catholic, Assyrian and Lutheran Churches. Each of these have three different levels, where the first one is called Bishop, second is called Priest and the third or lowest is called Deacon.

Undoubtedly, Bishop ranks highest among the list and enjoys all of the sacraments that are offered by the religion. In contrast, Priest ranks as second highest among the list and his primary duty is to assist the Bishop in all of his activities as and when required. Unlike Bishop, Priest is able to enjoy most of the sacraments except Holy Orders. He can enjoy Matrimony, Baptism, Anointing the Sick, Mass, Eucharist and the Sacraments of Penance. Previously, not everyone was allowed to become a Priest and it was considered something to be of hereditary in nature. However, now anyone is allowed to become a Priest according to his will and choice. Not to mention that there are certain requirements that one has to fulfil and achieve and only then he would be allowed to become a Priest.

Subsequently, Deacon ranks lowest among the Holy Orders and thus the responsibilities are very limited as compared to the above two. They perform duties of a laymen or clerk in a Holy place. After obtaining required qualification and experience, one can easily become a Priest, provided that he fulfils all the requirements.

Most importantly, Priests are not allowed to be married whereas the Deacons can marry or married men can become a Deacon. In addition, Priests serve as assistants to Bishops and Popes while Deacons are referred to as servants of the Church and Bishops.


  • 1


    Priest is a person that ranks second among the Holy Orders and is responsible for assisting the Bishops and Pope in their duties. Most importantly, Priests are not allowed to be married but can enjoy most of the sacraments.

  • 2


    They are the lowest among the Holy Orders and are responsible for serving the Churches and Bishops in accomplishment of their goals. They report to Priests and act as the servants of Bishops. Deacons are allowed to marry if they want.

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