(both paintings by Lady Lawley, 1914)
A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.
According to the trifunctional hypothesis of prehistoric Proto-Indo-European society, priests have existed since the earliest of times and in the simplest societies, most likely as a result of agricultural surplus and consequent social stratification. The necessity to read sacred texts and keep temple or church records helped foster literacy in many early societies. Priests exist in many religions today, such as all or some branches of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Shinto and Hinduism. They are generally regarded as having privileged contact with the deity or deities of the religion to which they subscribe, often interpreting the meaning of events and performing the rituals of the religion. There is no common definition of the duties of priesthood between faiths; but generally it includes mediating the relationship between one's congregation, worshippers, and other members of the religious body, and its deity or deities, and administering religious rituals and rites. These often include blessing worshipers with prayers of joy at marriages, after a birth, and at consecrations, teaching the wisdom and dogma of the faith at any regular worship service, and mediating and easing the experience of grief and death at funerals – maintaining a spiritual connection to the afterlife in faiths where such a concept exists. Administering religious building grounds and office affairs and papers, including any religious library or collection of sacred texts, is also commonly a responsibility – for example, the modern term for clerical duties in a secular office refers originally to the duties of a cleric. The question of which religions have a "priest" depends on how the titles of leaders are used or translated into English. In some cases, leaders are more like those that other believers will often turn to for advice on spiritual matters, and less of a "person authorized to perform the sacred rituals." For example, clergy in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are priests, but in Protestant Christianity they are typically minister and pastor. The terms priest and priestess are sufficiently generic that they may be used in an anthropological sense to describe the religious mediators of an unknown or otherwise unspecified religion.
In many religions, being a priest or priestess is a full-time position, ruling out any other career. Many Christian priests and pastors choose or are mandated to dedicate themselves to their churches and receive their living directly from their churches. In other cases it is a part-time role. For example, in the early history of Iceland the chieftains were titled goði, a word meaning "priest". As seen in the saga of Hrafnkell Freysgoði, however, being a priest consisted merely of offering periodic sacrifices to the Norse gods and goddesses; it was not a full-time role, nor did it involve ordination.
The word "priest", is ultimately derived from Greek via Latin presbyter, the term for "elder", especially elders of Jewish or Christian communities in late antiquity. The Latin presbyter ultimately represents Greek πρεσβύτερος presbúteros, the regular Latin word for "priest" being sacerdos, corresponding to ἱερεύς hiereús.
It is possible that the Latin word was loaned into Old English, and only from Old English reached other Germanic languages via the Anglo-Saxon mission to the continent, giving Old Icelandic prestr, Old Swedish präster, Old High German priast. Old High German also has the disyllabic priester, priestar, apparently derived from Latin independently via Old French presbtre.
That English should have only the single term priest to translate presbyter and sacerdos came to be seen as a problem in English Bible translations. The presbyter is the minister who both presides and instructs a Christian congregation, while the sacerdos, offerer of sacrifices, or in a Christian context the eucharist, performs "mediatorial offices between God and man".
The feminine English noun, priestess, was coined in the 17th century, to refer to female priests of the pre-Christian religions of classical antiquity. In the 20th century, the word was used in controversies surrounding the women ordained in the Anglican communion, who are referred to as "priests", irrespective of gender, and the term priestess is generally considered archaic in Christianity.
In historical polytheism, a priest administers the sacrifice to a deity, often in highly elaborate ritual. In the Ancient Near East, the priesthood also acted on behalf of the deities in managing their property.
In ancient Egyptian religion, the right and obligation to interact with the gods belonged to the pharaoh. He delegated this duty to priests, who were effectively bureaucrats authorized to act on his behalf. Priests staffed temples throughout Egypt, giving offerings to the cult images in which the gods were believed to take up residence and performing other rituals for their benefit. Little is known about what training may have been required of priests, and the selection of personnel for positions was affected by a tangled set of traditions, although the pharaoh had the final say. In the New Kingdom of Egypt, when temples owned great estates, the high priests of the most important cult—that of Amun at Karnak—were important political figures.
High-ranking priestly roles were usually held by men. Women were generally relegated to lower positions in the temple hierarchy, although some held specialized and influential positions, especially that of the God's Wife of Amun, whose religious importance overshadowed the High Priests of Amun in the Late Period.
In ancient Rome and throughout Italy, the ancient sanctuaries of Ceres and Proserpina were invariably led by female sacerdotes, drawn from women of local and Roman elites. It was the only public priesthood attainable by Roman matrons and was held in great honor.
A Roman matron was any mature woman of the upper class, married or unmarried. Females could serve public cult as Vestal Virgins but few were chosen, and then only from young maidens of the upper class.
In ancient Israel the priests were required by the Law of Moses to be of direct patrilineal descent from Aaron, Moses' elder brother. In Exodus 30:22–25 God instructs Moses to make a holy anointing oil to consecrate the priests "for all of eternity." During the times of the two Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, the Aaronic priests were responsible for the daily and special Jewish holiday offerings and sacrifices within the temples, these offerings are known as the korbanot.
In Hebrew the word "priest" is kohen (singular כהן kohen, plural כּהנִים kohanim), hence the family names Cohen, Cahn, Kahn, Kohn, Kogan, etc. These families are from the tribe of Levi (Levites) and in twenty-four instances are called by scripture as such (Jerusalem Talmud to Mishnaic tractate Maaser Sheini p. 31a). In Hebrew the word for "priesthood" is kehunnah.
Since the destruction of the Second Temple, and (therefore) the cessation of the daily and seasonal temple ceremonies and sacrifices, Kohanim in traditional Judaism (Orthodox Judaism and to some extent, Conservative Judaism) continue to perform a number of priestly ceremonies and roles such as the Pidyon HaBen (redemption of a first-born son) ceremony and the Priestly Blessing, and have remained subject, particularly in Orthodox Judaism, to a number of restrictions, such as restrictions on certain marriages and ritual purity (see Kohanic disqualifications).
Orthodox Judaism regard the kohanim as being held in reserve for a future restored Temple. In all branches of Judaism, Kohanim do not perform roles of propitiation, sacrifice, or sacrament. Rather, a kohen's principal religious function is to perform the Priestly Blessing, and, provided he is rabbinically qualified, to serve as an authoritative judge (posek) and expositor of Jewish halakha law.
With the spread of Christianity and the formation of parishes, the Greek word ἱερεύς (hiereus), and Latin sacerdos, which Christians had since the 3rd century applied to bishops and only in a secondary sense to presbyters, began in the 6th century to be used of presbyters, and is today commonly used of presbyters, distinguishing them from bishops.
Today the term "priest" is used in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Church of the East, and some branches of Lutheranism to refer to those who have been ordained to a ministerial position through receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders, although "presbyter" is also used. Since the Protestant Reformation, non-sacramental denominations are more likely to use the term "elder" to refer to their pastors.
However, nowhere in the New Testament is a Christian pastor (besides Christ) titled "hiereus", the distinctive Greek word for "priest", and thus its rendering into English is seen as an etymological corruption of the Greek word "presbuteros", which means "elder", and which is the word for the lead category of Christian leaders in the New Testament church, under the Lord Jesus Christ, the great High Priest (archiereus). In the New Testament, it is taught that as Christ made the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, then believers have direct access to the Father through Him, (Hebrews 10:19) with the only priesthood that is named under Christ in the church being that which consists of all believers.
The New Testament Epistle to the Hebrews in particular draws a distinction between the Jewish priesthood and the high priesthood of Christ; it teaches that the sacrificial atonement by Jesus Christ on Calvary has made the Jewish priesthood and its prescribed ritual sacrifices redundant, along with the rest of the ceremonial acts of the Mosaic law, see Christian views on the Old Covenant for details. Thus, for Christians, Christ himself is the only high priest, and Christians have no priesthood independent or distinct from participation in the priesthood of Christ, the head of the Church. The one sacrifice of Christ, which he offered "once for all" (Hebrews 10:10) on the Cross, provides eternal sanctification and redemption. Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Methodists, and High Church Anglicans, consider the sacrifice to be "re-presented" in the Eucharist. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) claims to uphold all priesthood positions of the primitive gospel by the laying on of hands. The most known form of distinctive clothing for the priest is the easily identifiable clerical collar (or Roman collar), which takes form in either the traditional cassock, or modern day clerical shirt. The typical modern version consists of a white plastic tab, inserted into a specially made collar of a black shirt, although traditional cloth collars are still worn.
The most significant liturgical acts reserved to priests in these traditions are the administration of the Sacraments, including the celebration of the Holy Mass or Divine Liturgy (the terms for the celebration of the Eucharist in the Latin and Byzantine traditions, respectively), and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called Confession. The sacraments of Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction) and Confirmation or Chrismation are also administered by priests, though in the Western tradition Confirmation is ordinarily celebrated by a bishop. In the East, Chrismation is performed by the priest (using oil specially consecrated by a bishop) immediately after Baptism, and Unction is normally performed by several priests (ideally seven), but may be performed by one if necessary. In the West, Holy Baptism may be celebrated by anyone. The Vatican catechism states that "According to Latin tradition, the spouses as ministers of Christ's grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony". Thus marriage is a sacrament administered by the couple to themselves, but may be witnessed and blessed by a deacon, or priest (who usually administers the ceremony). In the East, Holy Baptism and Marriage (which is called "Crowning") may be performed only by a priest. If a person is baptized in extremis (i.e., when in fear of immediate death), only the actual threefold immersion together with the scriptural words (Matthew 28:19) may be performed by a layperson or deacon. The remainder of the rite, and Chrismation, must still be performed by a priest, if the person survives. The only sacrament which may be celebrated only by a bishop is that of Ordination (cheirotonia, "Laying-on of Hands"), or Holy Orders.
In these traditions, only men who meet certain requirements may become priests. In Roman Catholicism the canonical minimum age is twenty-five. Bishops may dispense with this rule and ordain men up to one year younger. Dispensations of more than a year are reserved to the Holy See (Can. 1031 §§1, 4.) A Catholic priest must be incardinated by his bishop or his major religious superior in order to engage in public ministry. In Orthodoxy, the normal minimum age is thirty (Can. 9 of Neocaesarea) but a bishop may dispense with this if needed. In neither tradition may priests marry after ordination. In the Roman Catholic Church, priests in the Latin Rite, which covers the vast majority of Roman Catholicism, must be celibate except under special rules for married clergy converting from certain other Christian confessions. Married men may become priests in Eastern Orthodoxy and the Eastern Catholic Churches, but in neither case may they marry after ordination, even if they become widowed. Candidates for bishop are chosen only from among the celibate. Orthodox priests will either wear a clerical collar similar to the above mentioned, or simply a very loose black robe that does not have a collar.
The role of a priest in the Anglican Communion is largely the same as within the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity, except that canon law in almost every Anglican province restricts the administration of confirmation to the bishop, just as with ordination. Whilst Anglican priests who are members of religious orders must remain celibate (although there are exceptions, such as priests in the Anglican Order of Cistercians), the secular clergy—bishops, priests, and deacons who are not members of religious orders—are permitted to marry before or after ordination (although in most provinces they are not permitted to marry a person of the same sex.) The Anglican churches, unlike the Roman Catholic or Eastern Christian traditions, have allowed the ordination of women as priests (referred to as "priests" not "priestesses") in some provinces since 1971. This practice remains controversial, however; a minority of provinces (10 out of the 38 worldwide) retain an all-male priesthood. Most Continuing Anglican churches do not ordain women to the priesthood.
As Anglicanism represents a broad range of theological opinion, its presbyterate includes priests who consider themselves no different in any respect from those of the Roman Catholic Church, and a minority who prefer to use the title presbyter in order to distance themselves from the more sacrificial theological implications which they associate with the word priest. While priest is the official title of a member of the presbyterate in every Anglican province worldwide (retained by the Elizabethan Settlement), the ordination rite of certain provinces (including the Church of England) recognizes the breadth of opinion by adopting the title The Ordination of Priests (also called Presbyters). Even though both words mean 'elders' historically the term priest has been more associated with the "High Church" or Anglo-Catholic wing, whereas the term "minister" has been more commonly used in "Low Church" or Evangelical circles.
The general priesthood or the priesthood of all believers, is a Christian doctrine derived from several passages of the New Testament. It is a foundational concept of Protestantism. It is this doctrine that Martin Luther adduces in his 1520 To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation in order to dismiss the medieval Christian belief that Christians were to be divided into two classes: "spiritual" and "temporal" or non-spiritual.
The conservative reforms of Lutherans are reflected in the theological and practical view of the ministry of the Church. Much of European Lutheranism follows the traditional Catholic governance of deacon, priest and bishop. The Lutheran archbishops of Finland, Sweden, etc. and Baltic countries are the historic national primates and some ancient cathedrals and parishes in the Lutheran church were constructed many centuries before the Reformation. Indeed, ecumenical work within the Anglican Communion and among Scandinavian Lutherans mutually recognize the historic apostolic legitimacy and full communion. Likewise in America, Lutherans have embraced the apostolic succession of bishops in the full communion with Episcopalians and most Lutheran ordinations are performed by a bishop.
In some Lutheran churches, ordained clergy are called priests as in Sweden and Finland, while in others the term pastor is preferred.
In the Latter Day Saint movement, the priesthood is the power and authority of God given to man, including the authority to perform ordinances and to act as a leader in the church. A body of priesthood holders is referred to as a quorum. Priesthood denotes elements of both power and authority. The priesthood includes the power Jesus gave his apostles to perform miracles such as the casting out of devils and the healing of sick (Luke 9:1). Latter Day Saints believe that the Biblical miracles performed by prophets and apostles were performed by the power of the priesthood, including the miracles of Jesus, who holds all of the keys of the priesthood. The priesthood is formally known as the "Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God", but to avoid the too frequent use of the name of deity, the priesthood is referred to as the Melchizedek priesthood (Melchizedek being the high priest to whom Abraham paid tithes). As an authority, the priesthood is the authority by which a bearer may perform ecclesiastical acts of service in the name of God. Latter Day Saints believe that acts (and in particular, ordinances) performed by one with priesthood authority are recognized by God and are binding in heaven, on earth, and in the afterlife.
There is some variation among the Latter Day Saint denomination regarding who can be ordained to the priesthood. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), all worthy males above the age of 12 can be ordained to the priesthood. However, prior to a policy change in 1978, the LDS Church did not ordain men or boys who were of black African descent. The LDS Church does not ordain women to any of its priesthood offices. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now the Community of Christ), the second largest denomination of the movement, began ordaining women to all of its priesthood offices in 1984. This decision was one of the reasons that led to a schism in the church, which prompted the formation of the independent Restoration Branches movement from which other denominations have sprung, including the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Islam has no sacerdotal priesthood, as every believer (mu'min) is individually empowered to engage with God directly, without any mediator. There are, however, a variety of academic and administrative offices which have evolved to assist Muslims with this task; a full discussion can be found at Clergy#Islam.
Hindu priests historically were members of the Brahmin caste. Priests are ordained and trained as well. There are two types of Hindu priests, pujaris (swamis, yogis, and gurus) and purohits (pundits). A pujari performs rituals in a temple. These rituals include bathing the murtis (the statues of the gods/goddesses), performing puja, a ritualistic offering of various items to the Gods, the waving of a ghee or oil lamp also called an offering in light, known in Hinduism as aarti, before the murtis. Pujaris are often married.
A purohit, on the other hand, performs rituals and saṃskāras (sacraments) outside of the temple. There are special purohits who perform only funeral rites.
There are many priests in India who perform their work both inside and outside temples. The ones who perform it inside are called "pujaris" who are more common and are more significant in society. A few tasks of these "pujaris" would be to clean or bathe the statue of the God in the temple. They do earn from this but do not demand too much money. The other more debatable priests are the purohits who perform their duties outside the temple. They act as God for poor people and by talking or by providing 'hope', they earn a living.
In Zoroastrianism, the priesthood is reserved for men and is a mostly hereditary position. The priests prepare a drink from a sacred plant, which is called the haoma ritual. They officiate the Yasna, pouring libations into the sacred fire to the accompaniment of ritual chants.
The Taoist priests (道士 "master of the Dao" p. 488) act as interpreters of the principles of Yin-Yang 5 elements (fire, water, soil, wood, and metal p. 53) school of ancient Chinese philosophy, as they relate to marriage, death, festival cycles, and so on. The Taoist priest seeks to share the benefits of meditation with his or her community through public ritual and liturgy (p. 326). In the ancient priesthood before the Tang, the priest was called Jijiu ("libationer" p. 550), with both male and female practitioners selected by merit. The system gradually changed into a male only hereditary Taoist priesthood until more recent times (p. 550,551).
The Shinto priest is called a kannushi (神主, lit. "Master of the kami"), originally pronounced kamunushi, sometimes referred to as a shinshoku (神職). A kannushi is the person responsible for the maintenance of a Shinto shrine, or jinja, purificatory rites, and for leading worship and veneration of a certain kami. Additionally, priests are aided by miko (巫女, "shrine maidens") for many rites as a kind of shaman or medium. The maidens may either be family members in training, apprentices, or local volunteers.
Saiin were female relatives of the Japanese emperor (termed saiō) who served as High Priestesses in Kamo Shrine. Saiō also served at Ise Shrine. Saiin priestesses usually were elected from royalty. In principle, Saiin remained unmarried, but there were exceptions. Some Saiin became consorts of the emperor, called Nyōgo in Japanese. The Saiin order of priestesses existed throughout the Heian and Kamakura periods.
The Yoruba people of western Nigeria practice an indigenous religion with a chiefly hierarchy of priests and priestesses that dates to AD 800–1000. Ifá priests and priestesses bear the titles Babalawo for men and Iyanifa for women. Priests and priestesses of the varied Orisha are titled Babalorisa for men and Iyalorisa for women. Initiates are also given an Orisa or Ifá name that signifies under which deity they are initiated. For example, a Priestess of Osun may be named Osunyemi, and a Priest of Ifá may be named Ifáyemi. This traditional culture continues to this day as initiates from all around the world return to Nigeria for initiation into the priesthood, and varied derivative sects in the New World (such as Cuban Santería and Brazilian Umbanda) use the same titles to refer to their officers as well.
According to traditional Wiccan beliefs, every member of the religion is considered a priestess or priest, as it is believed that no person can stand between another and the Divine. However, in response to the growing number of Wiccan temples and churches, several denominations of the religion have begun to develop a core group of ordained priestesses and priests serving a larger laity. This trend is far from widespread, but is gaining acceptance due to increased interest in the religion.
The dress of religious workers in ancient times may be demonstrated in frescoes and artifacts from the cultures. The dress is presumed to be related to the customary clothing of the culture, with some symbol of the deity worn on the head or held by the person. Sometimes special colors, materials, or patterns distinguish celebrants, as the white wool veil draped on the head of the Vestal Virgins.
Occasionally the celebrants at religious ceremonies shed all clothes in a symbolic gesture of purity. This was often the case in ancient times. An example of this is shown to the left on a Kylix dating from c. 500 BC where a priestess is featured. Modern religious groups tend to avoid such symbolism and some may be quite uncomfortable with the concept.
The retention of long skirts and vestments among many ranks of contemporary priests when they officiate may be interpreted to express the ancient traditions of the cultures from which their religious practices arose.
In most Christian traditions, priests wear clerical clothing, a distinctive form of street dress. Even within individual traditions it varies considerably in form, depending on the specific occasion. In Western Christianity, the stiff white clerical collar has become the nearly universal feature of priestly clerical clothing, worn either with a cassock or a clergy shirt. The collar may be either a full collar or a vestigial tab displayed through a square cutout in the shirt collar.
Eastern Christian priests mostly retain the traditional dress of two layers of differently cut cassock: the rasson (Greek) or podriasnik (Russian) beneath the outer exorasson (Greek) or riasa (Russian). If a pectoral cross has been awarded it is usually worn with street clothes in the Russian tradition, but not so often in the Greek tradition.
Distinctive clerical clothing is less often worn in modern times than formerly, and in many cases it is rare for a priest to wear it when not acting in a pastoral capacity, especially in countries that view themselves as largely secular in nature. There are frequent exceptions to this however, and many priests rarely if ever go out in public without it, especially in countries where their religion makes up a clear majority of the population. Pope John Paul II often instructed Catholic priests and religious to always wear their distinctive (clerical) clothing, unless wearing it would result in persecution or grave verbal attacks.
Christian traditions that retain the title of priest also retain the tradition of special liturgical vestments worn only during services. Vestments vary widely among the different Christian traditions.
In modern Pagan religions, such as Wicca, there is no one specific form of dress designated for the clergy. If there is, it is a particular of the denomination in question, and not a universal practice. However, there is a traditional form of dress, (usually a floor-length tunic and a knotted cord cincture, known as the cingulum), which is often worn by worshipers during religious rites. Among those traditions of Wicca that do dictate a specific form of dress for its clergy, they usually wear the traditional tunic in addition to other articles of clothing (such as an open-fronted robe or a cloak) as a distinctive form of religious dress, similar to a habit.
In many religions there are one or more layers of assistant priests.
In ancient Judaism, the Priests (Kohanim) had a whole class of Levites as their assistants in making the sacrifices, in singing psalms and in maintaining the Temple. The Priests and the Levites were in turn served by servants called Nethinim. These lowest level of servants were not priests.
An assistant priest is a priest in the Anglican and Episcopal churches who is not the senior member of clergy of the parish to which they are appointed, but is nonetheless in priests' orders; there is no difference in function or theology, merely in 'grade' or 'rank'. Some assistant priests have a "sector ministry", that is to say that they specialize in a certain area of ministry within the local church, for example youth work, hospital work, or ministry to local light industry. They may also hold some diocesan appointment part-time. In most (though not all) cases an assistant priest has the legal status of assistant curate, although not all assistant curates are priests, as this legal status also applies to many deacons working as assistants in a parochial setting.
The corresponding term in the Catholic Church is "parochial vicar" – an ordained priest assigned to assist the pastor (Latin: parochus) of a parish in the pastoral care of parishioners. Normally, all pastors are also ordained priests; occasionally an auxiliary bishop will be assigned that role.
In Wicca, the leader of a coven or temple (either a high priestess or high priest) often appoints an assistant. This assistant is often called a 'deputy', but the more traditional terms 'maiden' (when female and assisting a high priestess) and 'summoner' (when male and assisting a high priest) are still used in many denominations.
Holy Communion is a type of sacrifice. It is a re-presentation, not a repetition, of the sacrifice of Christ.
About 100 Episcopal priests, many of them married, have become Roman Catholic priests since a "pastoral provision" was created by Pope John Paul II in 1980, said [Doug] Grandon, director of catechetics for the diocese. [...] His family life will remain the same, he said. Contrary to popular misunderstandings, he won't have to be celibate.
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (Italian: [anˈtɔːnjo ˈluːtʃo viˈvaldi]; 4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741) was an Italian Baroque musical composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, and priest. Born in Venice, the capital of the Venetian Republic, he is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He composed many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as the Four Seasons.
Many of his compositions were written for the all-female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children. Vivaldi had worked there as a Catholic priest for 1 1/2 years and was employed there from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with expensive stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna, hoping for royal support. However, the Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival, and Vivaldi himself died, in poverty, less than a year later.Canon (priest)
A canon (from the Latin canonicus, itself derived from the Greek κανονικός, kanonikós, "relating to a rule", "regular") is a member of certain bodies subject to an ecclesiastical rule.
Originally, a canon was a cleric living with others in a clergy house or, later, in one of the houses within the precinct of or close to a cathedral and conducting his life according to the orders or rules of the church. This way of life grew common (and is first documented) in the eighth century. In the eleventh century, some churches required clergy thus living together to adopt the rule first proposed by Saint Augustine that they renounce private wealth. Those who embraced this change were known as Augustinians or Canons Regular, whilst those who did not were known as secular canons.Cardinal (Catholic Church)
A cardinal (Latin: Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae cardinalis, literally 'cardinal of the Holy Roman Church') is a senior ecclesiastical leader, considered a Prince of the Church, and usually an ordained bishop of the Catholic Church. The cardinals of the Church are collectively known as the College of Cardinals. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and making themselves available individually or in groups to the Pope as requested. Most have additional duties, such as leading a diocese or archdiocese or managing a department of the Roman Curia. A cardinal's primary duty is electing the Pope when the see becomes vacant. During the sede vacante (the period between a pope's death or resignation and the election of his successor), the day-to-day governance of the Holy See is in the hands of the College of Cardinals. The right to enter the conclave of cardinals where the pope is elected is limited to those who have not reached the age of 80 years by the day the vacancy occurs.
In 1059, the right of electing the pope was reserved to the principal clergy of Rome and the bishops of the seven suburbicarian sees. In the 12th century the practice of appointing ecclesiastics from outside Rome as cardinals began, with each of them assigned a church in Rome as his titular church or linked with one of the suburbicarian dioceses, while still being incardinated in a diocese other than that of Rome.The term cardinal at one time applied to any priest permanently assigned or incardinated to a church, or specifically to the senior priest of an important church, based on the Latin cardo (hinge), meaning "pivotal" as in "principal" or "chief". The term was applied in this sense as early as the ninth century to the priests of the tituli (parishes) of the diocese of Rome.Catholic Church sexual abuse cases
Cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns and members of religious orders in the 20th and 21st centuries have been widespread and have led to many allegations, investigations, trials and convictions as well as revelations about decades of attempts by the Church to cover up reported incidents. The abused include mostly boys but also girls, some as young as three years old, with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14. Criminal cases do not for the most part cover sexual harassment in the workplace against persons who had renounced sexual activity and therefore pre-declined sexual advances. This category includes all priests and seminarians and all religious brothers and sisters. The accusations began to receive isolated, sporadic publicity from the late 1980s. Many of these involved cases in which a figure was accused of decades of abuse; such allegations were frequently made by adults or older youths years after the abuse occurred. Cases have also been brought against members of the Catholic hierarchy who covered up sex abuse allegations and moved abusive priests to other parishes, where abuse continued.By the 1990s, the cases began to receive significant media and public attention in some countries, especially in Canada, the United States, Australia and, through a series of television documentaries such as Suffer The Children (UTV, 1994), Ireland. In 2002, a critical investigation by The Boston Globe led to widespread media coverage of the issue in the United States. Over the last decade, widespread abuse has been exposed in Europe, Australia, Chile, and the United States.
From 2001 to 2010, the Holy See, the central governing body of the Catholic Church, considered sex abuse allegations involving about 3,000 priests dating back fifty years, reflecting worldwide patterns of long-term abuse as well as the Church hierarchy's pattern of regularly covering up reports of abuse. Diocesan officials and academics knowledgeable about the Roman Catholic Church say that sexual abuse by clergy is generally not discussed, and thus is difficult to measure. Members of the Church's hierarchy have argued that media coverage was excessive and disproportionate, and that such abuse also takes place in other religions and institutions, a stance that dismayed critics who saw it as a device to avoid resolving the abuse problem within the Church.In a 2001 apology, John Paul II called sexual abuse within the Church "a profound contradiction of the teaching and witness of Jesus Christ". Benedict XVI apologised, met with victims, and spoke of his "shame" at the evil of abuse, calling for perpetrators to be brought to justice, and denouncing mishandling by church authorities. In 2018, Pope Francis began by accusing victims of fabricating allegations, but by April was apologizing for his "tragic error" and by August was expressing "shame and sorrow" for the tragic history, albeit without introducing concrete measures either to prosecute abusers or to help victims.Clergy
Clergy are some of the main and important formal leaders within certain religions. The roles and functions of clergy vary in different religious traditions but these usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the terms used for individual clergy are clergyman, clergywoman and churchman. Less common terms are churchwoman, clergyperson and cleric.
In Christianity the specific names and roles of clergy vary by denomination and there is a wide range of formal and informal clergy positions, including deacons, elders, priests, bishops, preachers, pastors, ministers and the Pope. In Islam, a religious leader is often known formally or informally as an imam, qadi, mufti, mullah or ayatollah. In Jewish tradition, a religious leader is often a rabbi (teacher) or hazzan (cantor).Curate
A curate ( KEWR-it) is a person who is invested with the care or cure (cura) of souls of a parish. In this sense, "curate" correctly means a parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term curate is commonly used to describe clergy who are assistants to the parish priest. The duties or office of a curate are called a curacy.General Roman Calendar
For historical forms of the General Roman Calendar, see Tridentine Calendar, General Roman Calendar of 1954, General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII, General Roman Calendar of 1960, and General Roman Calendar of 1969.The General Roman Calendar is the liturgical calendar that indicates the dates of celebrations of saints and mysteries of the Lord (Jesus Christ) in the Roman Rite, wherever this liturgical rite is in use. These celebrations are a fixed annual date; or occur on a particular day of the week (examples are the Baptism of the Lord in January and the Feast of Christ the King in November); or relate to the date of Easter (examples are the celebrations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary). National and diocesan liturgical calendars, including that of the diocese of Rome itself as well as the calendars of religious institutes and even of continents, add other saints and mysteries or transfer the celebration of a particular saint or mystery from the date assigned in the General Calendar to another date.
These liturgical calendars also indicate the degree or rank of each celebration: Memorial (which can be merely optional), Feast, or Solemnity. Among other differences, the Gloria is said or sung at the Mass of a Feast but not at that of a Memorial, and the Creed is added on Solemnities.
The last general revision of the General Roman Calendar was in 1969 and was authorized by the motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis of Pope Paul VI. The motu proprio and the decree of promulgation were included in the book Calendarium Romanum, published in the same year by Libreria Editrice Vaticana. This contained also the official document Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, and the list of celebrations of the General Roman Calendar. Both these documents are also printed (in their present revised form) in the Roman Missal, after the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. The 1969 book also provided a detailed unofficial commentary on that year's revision of the calendar.
The contents of the General Roman Calendar and the names in English of the celebrations included in it are here indicated in the official English version of the Roman Missal.High Priest of Israel
High priest (Hebrew: כהן גדול kohen gadol; with definite article הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל ha'kohen ha'gadol, the high priest; Aramaic kahana rabba) was the title of the chief religious official of Judaism from the early post-Exilic times until the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. Previously, in the Israelite religion including the time of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, other terms were used to designate the leading priests; however, as long as a king was in place, the supreme ecclesiastical authority lay with him. The official introduction of the term "high priest" went hand in hand with a greatly enhanced ritual and political significance bestowed upon the chief priest in the post-Exilic period, certainly from 411 BCE onward, after the religious transformations brought about by the Babylonian captivity and due to the lack of a Jewish king and kingdom.The high priests belonged to the Jewish priestly families that trace their paternal line back to Aaron, the first high priest of Israel in the Hebrew Bible and elder brother of Moses, through Zadok, a leading priest at the time of David and Solomon. This tradition came to an end in the 2nd century BCE during the rule of the Hasmoneans, when the position was occupied by other priestly families unrelated to Zadok.Judas Priest
Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. The band has sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferent record production and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status.
The band's membership has seen much turnover, including a revolving cast of drummers in the 1970s, and the temporary departure of singer Rob Halford in the early 1990s. The current line-up consists of Halford, bassist Ian Hill, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, and drummer Scott Travis. The band's best-selling album is 1982's Screaming for Vengeance with their most commercially successful line-up, featuring Hill, Halford, Tipton, guitarist K. K. Downing, and drummer Dave Holland. Tipton and Hill are the only two members of the band to appear on every album.
Halford's operatic vocal style and the twin guitar sound of Downing and Tipton have been a major influence on metal and have been adopted by many bands. Their image of leather, spikes, and other taboo articles of clothing were widely influential during the glam metal era of the 1980s. The Guardian referred to British Steel as the record that defines heavy metal. Despite a decline in exposure during the mid 1990s, the band has once again seen a resurgence, including worldwide tours, being inaugural inductees into the VH1 Rock Honors in 2006, receiving a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2010, and their songs featured in video games such as Guitar Hero and the Rock Band series.Kohen
Kohen or cohen (or kohein; Hebrew: כֹּהֵן kohen, "priest", pl. כֹּהֲנִים kohanim, "priests") is the Hebrew word for "priest", used in reference to the Aaronic priesthood. Levitical priests or kohanim are traditionally believed and halakhically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the biblical Aaron (also Aharon), brother of Moses.
During the existence of the Temple in Jerusalem, kohanim performed the daily and holiday (Yom Tov) duties of sacrificial offerings. Today, kohanim retain a lesser though distinct status within Rabbinic and Karaite Judaism, and are bound by additional restrictions according to Orthodox Judaism.
In the Samaritan community, the kohanim have remained the primary religious leaders. Ethiopian Jewish religious leaders are sometimes called kahen, a form of the same word, but the position is not hereditary and their duties are more like those of rabbis than kohanim in most Jewish communities.Laity
In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not part of the clergy, usually including any non-ordained members of religious institutes, e.g. a nun or lay brother.A layperson (also layman or laywoman) is a person who is not qualified in a given profession and/or does not have specific knowledge of a certain subject.
In Christian cultures, the term lay priest was sometimes used in the past to refer to a secular priest, a diocesan priest who is not a member of a religious institute. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the term "Lay Priesthood" to emphasise that local congregational leaders are unpaid. Terms such as lay priest, lay clergy and lay nun were also once used in Buddhist cultures to indicate ordained persons who continued to live in the wider community instead of retiring to a monastery.Mass in the Catholic Church
The Mass, known more fully as the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the central liturgical ritual in the Catholic Church where the bread and wine are consecrated and become the body and blood of Christ. As defined by the Church at the Council of Trent, in the Mass, "The same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross, is present and offered in an unbloody manner." The Church describes the Holy Mass as "the source and summit of the Christian life". It teaches that through consecration by an ordained priest the bread and wine become the sacrificial body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ as the sacrifice on Calvary made truly present once again on the altar. The Catholic Church permits only baptised members in the state of grace (Catholics who have recently confessed all mortal sins) to receive Christ in the Eucharist. Many of the Catholic Church's other sacraments are administered in the framework of the Holy Mass, such as First Communion, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Holy Matrimony. The term "Mass" is generally used within the Latin Rite's celebrations of the Eucharist, while the various Eastern Rites use terms such as "Divine Liturgy", "Holy Qurbana", and "Badarak", in accordance with each one's tradition. Since the publication of Pope Benedict XVI's 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the Roman Rite has been classified into two forms: the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which uses the liturgy of the Missal issued by Pope John XXIII in 1962, and the Ordinary Form, which uses the Missal revised by Pope Paul VI in 1969.
The term "Mass" is derived from the concluding words of the Roman Rite Mass in Latin: "Ite, missa est" ("Go; it is the dismissal"). The Late Latin word missa substantively corresponds to the classical Latin word missio. In antiquity, missa simply meant "dismissal". In Christian usage, however, it gradually took on a deeper meaning. The word "dismissal" has come to imply a mission.The Roman Rite Mass is the predominant form used in the Catholic Church and the focus of this article. For information on the theology of the Eucharist and on the Eucharistic liturgy of other Christian denominations, see "Mass (liturgy)", "Eucharist" and "Eucharistic theology". For information on the history and of development of the Mass see Eucharist and Origin of the Eucharist.Ordination
Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination vary by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is undergoing the process of ordination is sometimes called an ordinand. The liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordination.Parish
A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, and who operates from a parish church. Historically, a parish often covered the same geographical area as a manor. Its association with the parish church remains paramount.By extension the term parish refers not only to the territorial entity but to the people of its community or congregation as well as to church property within it. In England this church property was technically in ownership of the parish priest ex-officio, vested in him on his institution to that parish.Priesthood in the Catholic Church
The priesthood is one of the three holy orders of the Catholic Church, comprising the ordained priests or presbyters. The other two orders are the bishops and the deacons. Only men are allowed to receive holy orders, and the church does not allow any transgender people to do so. Church doctrine also sometimes refers to all baptised Catholics as the "common priesthood".The church has different rules for priests in the Latin Church – the largest Catholic particular church – and in the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. Notably, priests in the Latin Church must take a vow of celibacy, whereas most Eastern Catholic Churches permit married men to be ordained.
Deacons are male and usually belong to the diocesan clergy, but, unlike almost all Latin-rite (Western Catholic) priests and all bishops from Eastern or Western Catholicism, they may marry as laymen before their ordination as clergy. The Catholic Church teaches that when a man participates in priesthood after the Sacrament of Holy Orders, he acts in persona Christi Capitis, representing the person of Christ.Unlike usage in English, "the Latin words sacerdos and sacerdotium are used to refer in general to the ministerial priesthood shared by bishops and presbyters. The words presbyter, presbyterium and presbyteratus refer to priests in the English use of the word or presbyters." According to the Annuario Pontificio 2016, as of December 31, 2014, there were 415,792 Catholic priests worldwide, including both diocesan priests and priests in the religious orders. A priest of the regular clergy is commonly addressed with the title "Father" (abbreviated Fr., in the Catholic and some other Christian churches).Catholics living a consecrated life or monasticism include both the ordained and unordained. Institutes of consecrated life, or monks, can be deacons, priests, bishops, or non-ordained members of a religious order. The non-ordained in these orders are not to be considered laypersons in a strict sense—they take certain vows and are not free to marry once they have made solemn profession of vows. All female religious are non-ordained; they may be sisters living to some degree of activity in a communal state, or nuns living in cloister or some other type of isolation. The male members of religious orders, whether living in monastic communities or cloistered in isolation, and who are ordained priests or deacons constitute what is called the religious or regular clergy, distinct from the diocesan or secular clergy. Those ordained priests or deacons who are not members of some sort of religious order (secular priests) most often serve as clergy to a specific church or in an office of a specific diocese or in Rome.Rob Halford
Robert John Arthur Halford (born 25 August 1951) is an English singer and songwriter. He is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest. He is famous for his powerful wide-ranging voice and his now-trademark leather-and-studs image, both of which became revolutionary in heavy metal. In addition to his work with Judas Priest, he has been involved with several side projects, including Fight, Two, and Halford.
AllMusic says of Halford: "There have been few vocalists in the history of heavy metal whose singing style has been as influential and instantly recognizable... able to effortlessly alternate between a throaty growl and an ear-splitting falsetto". Halford was voted number 33 in the greatest voices in rock by Planet Rock listeners in 2009. He was nicknamed "Metal God" by fans.Secular clergy
The term secular clergy refers to deacons and priests who are not monastics or members of a religious institute. A diocesan priest is a Catholic, Anglican, or Eastern Orthodox priest who commits himself or herself to a certain geographical area and is ordained into the service of the citizens of a diocese, a church administrative region. That includes serving the everyday needs of the people in parishes, but their activities are not limited to that of their parish.Vicar
A vicar (; Latin: vicarius) is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior (compare "vicarious" in the sense of "at second hand"). Linguistically, vicar is cognate with the English prefix "vice", similarly meaning "deputy". The title appears in a number of Christian ecclesiastical contexts, but also as an administrative title, or title modifier, in the Roman Empire. In addition, in the Holy Roman Empire a local representative of the emperor, perhaps an archduke, might be styled "vicar".Zechariah (priest)
Zechariah (Hebrew: זכריה Zəḵaryāh, "remember Yah"; Greek: Ζαχαρίας; Zacharias in KJV; Zachary in the Douay-Rheims Bible; Zakariyyāʾ (Arabic: زَكَـرِيَّـا) in Islamic tradition) is a figure in the New Testament Bible and the Quran, hence venerated in Christianity and Islam. In the Bible, he is the father of John the Baptist, a priest of the sons of Aaron in the Gospel of Luke (1:67-79), and the husband of Elizabeth who is a relative of the Virgin Mary (Luke, 1:36).