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The lifelong commitment to serving as deacon in the Catholic Church. Ordination to the permanent diaconate is preceded by a decision as to which form a man wishes to enter, the transitional or the permanent. If permanent, he makes the further choice of celibate or married diaconate. The public dedication to celibacy is celebrated in a special rite, even by religious, and it is to precede ordination to the diaconate. Celibacy taken in this way is an invalidating impediment to marriage. Moreover, a married deacon who has lost his wife cannot enter a new marriage.See Also: SACRUM DIACONATUS ORDINEM
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.