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Life in the Clergy

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==Church Life==
With the basic geography of the Church set out it is possible to look at the ecclesiastical rank structure. There were two 'orders' of clergy: the Minor Orders and the Major Orders. The Minor Orders were the trainees of the Church and consisted of the doorkeepers, lectors, exorcists and acolytes. The Major Orders consisted of the deacons, priests and bishops.
To simplify matters we can ignore the Minor Orders since many of them were villagers with no interest in becoming full time clergy. For example, the doorkeeper did most of the jobs we would now associate with the modern verger.
The deacons were men in training for the priesthood. There were a number of jobs they could not do, such as hear confession or celebrate Mass, but they were able to assist at services and carry out many of the lesser functions around the church.
The priests were men who had completed their training, who had a definite vocation for the ministry, and who had been 'ordained'. Once ordained, a priest could hear confessions, etc., and was given a parish church to work in. A priest was known by the title 'Father'. In most cases that was the pinnacle of the man's clerical career.
Every diocese was run by a bishop, and his headquarters became the largest and most important church in the diocese. The bishop had a seat of office which, in latin, was called a 'cathedra', so his church became known as the cathedral church. The bishop had a body of priests to assist him in running the diocese, called canons. The most important of these was the archdeacon, who was the bishop's administrative assistant.
At the highest level, in charge of the provinces, were the two archbishops, of Canterbury and York. They also had canons to assist them, however the archdeacons were replaced by 'suffragan' bishops, from the latin 'suffragator', meaning 'supporter'.
There are more senior grades, such as cardinal, but these take us beyond Anglo-Saxon England.
==Monastic Life==
Regia-AO, Regia-Officers, bureaucrat, administrator

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