Truly the greatest vocation (calling) from God is to the same service that He Himself was committed to, as well as the Holy Apostles. Christ God was the first priest (High Priest) of the Christian Church that is viable today in the form of the Orthodox Catholic Church. Because He realized that His time on earth was limited he provided for the Church's continuity by calling and ordaining the apostles to the Holy Priesthood and Epscopacy. Through these holy men the Church continues today with a valid and continuous Orthodox Christian priesthood. God calls each of us who have such a desire in a different way, i.e., some are called at an early age and others at a more mature age, and some realize the call right away while others have taken more time to accept. In order to make certain that deacons and priests are well prepared for such a sacred service it requires its candidates to complete ministry preparation and education through the Seminary. This can be done in residence or for those eligible through distance education.


People are called into Christ's service through various activities and lifestyles within the Church. Women are called into the religious life as Nuns or Sisters. Men are called to be Monks, Subdeacons, Deacons or Priests. Those not wishing to be members of the clergy might be called to serve as Readers, Thurifers, or Cantors. Boys and men are often called to service as an acolyte or altar boy. The higher one wishes to aspire the more training and commitment is required.


Although there exist foreign seminaries that provide in-house training, in the United States its only resident seminary, Holy Family, was closed in 2000. However, through St Mark's seminary of Romano Byzantine College a distance education program is offered and has been since 1994. In-house training is offered at St Mary Cathedral in Duluth Minnesota. Information on the various programs can be viewed at where an application can also be found.


Ordinations are usually performed at St Mary Cathedral in Duluth Minnesota, but may also be perfomed with permission in local dioceses and also in one's own parish.


Nuns (Sisters) and Brothers often engage in teaching, healing, parish assistance, retreats, charitable apostolates, mission work, and all engage in prayer and living a life close to our Lord and the Holy Theotokos. There are many other things that these servants of the Lord engage in as well. One must always use their talents to best serve God and others.

Permanent or Transitional Subdeacons serve their Master by assisting at Divine Liturgy and by keeping clean the sacred utensils used for the celebration of the Liturgy and other services. They, too, are often involved in the corporal works of mercy and assist within the parish.

Permanent or Transitional Deacons are in major orders and belong to the first order of the Priesthood of which there are three: Deacon, Priest and Bishop. Once ordained they may only be released from what they have been given through the Church. Deacons assist at the Divine Liturgy and chant various litanies they are permitted to do. They often care for parishes without a priest serving the Typica, making visitations to the sick and suffering, and assisting priests in the distribution of Holy Communion. They may also do a variety of other assignments or services, e.g., teaching, preaching, leading in prayers and certain other services allowed. They also have the responsibility of maintaining cleanliness at the Holy Table and the Altar area and those furnishings within.

Priests administer six of the seven Holy Mysteries or Sacraments. They do not ordain as this is reserved to the Holy Episcopacy and the Bishops empowered to perform this Mystery. They serve as pastors and assistant pastors in parishes, as teachers and preachers, they may be found serving as chaplains in the military or hospitals or nursing homes or youth homes or in prisons. They offer the Divine Liturgy and other services of the Church. Some priests are engaged in parish or diocesan adminsitration or serve on special councils of the Church. The mark of the priesthood remains forever once it is given by God through the Bishop, but for just cause the faculties (rights) can be taken away.

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