choice of faith today - a private matter.Now the church is completely separate from the state, but the situation was quite different in the Middle Ages.In those days, it was the church depended on welfare as a single person, and society as a whole.Even then were formed group of people who knew more than others, could convince and lead.It explains to the will of God, which is why they are respected and sought advice.The clergy - what is this?What was the clergy of the Middle Ages, and what was its hierarchy?
As the clergy was conceived during the Middle Ages?
In Christianity, the first spiritual leaders were the apostles that passed through the sacrament of ordination to grace their heirs, and this process is not stopped for centuries both in Orthodoxy and Catholicism.Even modern priests are the direct heirs of the apostles.Thus, in Europe there was a process of nucleation of the clergy.
What were the clergy in Europe?
Society at that time was divided into three groups:
- Knights lords - those who fought;
- farmers - those who have worked;
- clergy - those who prayed.
At that time, the clergy - the only educated class.When the monasteries were the library, where the monks kept the books and copied them, this is where the science was focused before the university.The barons and earls could not write, so used stamps, the peasants should not even talk.In other words, the clergy - the definition of the ministers of worship, it is people who are able to be mediators between God and the people, and engaged in religious ceremonies.In the Orthodox Church clergy are divided into "white" and "black".
White and black clergy
To the white clergy are priests, deacons, serving churches - is lower clergy.They do not give a vow of celibacy, can start a family and have children.The highest dignity of the secular clergy is archpriest.
Black clergy implies monks who devote their entire lives to serving the Lord.The monks take a vow of celibacy, obedience, and voluntary poverty (non-possession).The bishop, archbishop, metropolitan, the patriarch - a higher clergy.The transition from white to black clergy is possible, for example, if the parish priest's wife died - he can take the vows and enter a monastery.
In Western Europe (and Catholics to this day) gave a vow of celibacy all spiritual representatives, naturally class could not grow.How, then, could be a spiritual person?
How to become members of the clergy?
In those days, the monastery could leave the younger sons of feudal lords, who could not inherit the father's condition.If a poor peasant family had been unable to feed the child, it could also give the monastery.Families kings eldest son took the throne and became the youngest bishop.
In Russia, clergy arose after the adoption of Christianity.Our secular clergy - the people who they do not give and do not give up now celibate, what was the cause of hereditary priests.
grace, which was given to man during his erection to the priesthood, did not depend on his personal qualities, so it is wrong to assume that person perfect and require him impossible.It is during that whatever remains a man with all advantages and disadvantages, but it does not negate the grace.
priesthood, which happened in the second century and is valid until the present day, divided into 3 stages:
- occupy the lowest rung of the deacons.They can participate in the celebration of the sacraments, to help senior rank to conduct ceremonies in the temples, but independently conduct the service they have no right.
- second stage, which covers the clergy of the Church - is the priesthood or priests.These people can lead their own life, to carry out all the rituals except ordination (sacraments, in which man finds grace and himself becomes a servant of the church).
- third, the highest stage occupied bishops or bishops.To achieve this dignity can only monks.These people are entitled to perform all the sacraments, including ordination, in addition, they may lead the diocese.Archbishops manage larger dioceses, metropolitans, in turn, controlled area, which includes several dioceses.
How easy is it now to be a priest?Clergy - these are the people who listen to every day during confession a lot of complaints about life, confession of sins, they see a huge number of deaths and often deal with grief-stricken parishioners.Every priest should carefully consider each of his sermon, moreover, should be able to bring people to the holy truth.
complexity of each priest is that he is not entitled, as a doctor, a teacher or a judge, to work out the allotted time, and forget about their responsibilities - his duty every minute of it.Let us be grateful to all the priests, because everyone, even the most distant from the Church of man may come a time when the father help will be invaluable.