Doorkeeper

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{{Template:Clergy}}
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A '''doorkeeper''', or '''porter''', is an extinct office within the [[minor orders]] of [[clergy]] in the [[Church]]. The doorkeeper's duty in the Early Church consisted of the opening and closing of church doors, guarding the church building proper, and ensuring that no unbaptized persons entered during the [[Divine Liturgy|Liturgy of the Faithful]].
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==History==
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Porters, during the time of the Romans, were men, usually slaves, who held the duty of guarding the entrances of homes. Most Roman homes of the upper class had an ''ostiarius'', or doorkeeper, whose duties were usually considered inferior to that of the other house slaves.
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During the times of Roman persecution of the Church when liturgies were held in the homes of the faithful, it became necessary to mimic this secular tradition. This was to guard the faithful and the Sacred Mysteries. Doorkeepers are first referred to in the letter of [[Pope]] Cornelius to [[Bishop]] Fabius of Antioch, written in 251, where it is said that in Rome there were 46 [[priest]]s, seven [[deacon]]s, seven [[subdeacon]]s, 42 [[acolyte]]s, and 52 [[exorcist]]s, [[reader]]s, and doorkeepers.{{ref|1}} According to the statement in the ''Liber Pontificalis'', a porter named Romanus suffered [[martyr]]dom in 258 around the same time as St. [[Lawrence of Rome]].{{ref|2}}
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References to the doorkeeper's duties still exist within the life of the Church. For example, before the recitation of the [[Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed|Creed]], the deacon or priest says, "The Doors! The Doors! In wisdom let us attend." Traditionally, at that point in the service, any unbelievers or remaining [[catechumen]]s were ushered out. This was the order given by the clergy to the doorkeeper to seal the church.
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==References==
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*{{note|1}} Eusebius, ''Historia Ecclesiastica'', VI, 43. [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iii.xi.xliii.html]
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*{{note|2}} ''Liber Pontificalis'', ed. Duchesne, I, 155. [http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/liberpontificalis1.html XXV, 3]
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==Source==
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*[http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=3982 Porter] at the ''[[Roman Catholic|Catholic]] Encyclopedia''
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[[Category:Clergy]]
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[[mk:Вратар]]
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[[ro:Paznicul uşii]]

Latest revision as of 08:40, March 26, 2011

This article forms part of the series
Clergy
Antiochian local synod.jpg
Major orders
Bishop - Priest - Deacon
Minor orders
Subdeacon - Reader
Cantor - Acolyte
Other orders
Chorepiscopos - Exorcist
Doorkeeper - Deaconess - Presbytide
Episcopal titles
Patriarch - Catholicos
Archbishop - Metropolitan
Auxiliary - Titular
Priestly titles
Archimandrite - Protopresbyter
Archpriest - Protosyngellos
Economos
Diaconal titles
Archdeacon - Protodeacon
Minor titles
Protopsaltes - Lampadarios
Monastic titles
Abbot - Igumen
Related
Ordination - Vestments
Presbeia - Honorifics
Clergy awards - Exarch
Proistamenos - Vicar
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A doorkeeper, or porter, is an extinct office within the minor orders of clergy in the Church. The doorkeeper's duty in the Early Church consisted of the opening and closing of church doors, guarding the church building proper, and ensuring that no unbaptized persons entered during the Liturgy of the Faithful.

History

Porters, during the time of the Romans, were men, usually slaves, who held the duty of guarding the entrances of homes. Most Roman homes of the upper class had an ostiarius, or doorkeeper, whose duties were usually considered inferior to that of the other house slaves.

During the times of Roman persecution of the Church when liturgies were held in the homes of the faithful, it became necessary to mimic this secular tradition. This was to guard the faithful and the Sacred Mysteries. Doorkeepers are first referred to in the letter of Pope Cornelius to Bishop Fabius of Antioch, written in 251, where it is said that in Rome there were 46 priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, 42 acolytes, and 52 exorcists, readers, and doorkeepers.1 According to the statement in the Liber Pontificalis, a porter named Romanus suffered martyrdom in 258 around the same time as St. Lawrence of Rome.2

References to the doorkeeper's duties still exist within the life of the Church. For example, before the recitation of the Creed, the deacon or priest says, "The Doors! The Doors! In wisdom let us attend." Traditionally, at that point in the service, any unbelievers or remaining catechumens were ushered out. This was the order given by the clergy to the doorkeeper to seal the church.

References

  • 1 Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, VI, 43. [1]
  • 2 Liber Pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, I, 155. XXV, 3

Source

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