Holy Orders

Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the misión entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time; thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry.  This sacrament includes three degrees:  
-  Diaconate
-  Presbyterate
-  Episcopate

DIACONATE
In Greek it means “service.”  Although all of the ministries represent service, the Diaconate is more like service by default within the ministries granted by means of the Holy Orders.  Diaconate is the first requirement prior to proceeding to the Presbyterate and Episcopate levels. 

PRESBYTERATE
In Greek it means “elder” and in common usage means “priest.”  The group of presbyterates within a diocese, along with the bishop, are the ones that bear the responsibility for the “pastoral” ministry in the diocese.  

EPISCOPATE
The Episcopate is the highest level of the Sacrament of the Holy Orders and it refers to the Bishop.