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'''Ordination''' is the [[Holy Mysteries|sacrament]] (or Holy Mystery) of [[holy orders]]. The Greek word used useds for ordination is are '''''cheirotonia''''' and '''''cheirothesia''''', both of which means mean "the laying on of hands." Members of the [[major orders]] of the [[clergy]]—[[bishop]], [[priest]], and [[deacon]]—are ordained during the [[Divine Liturgy]] by the bishop, who is usually assisted by several priests. According to Orthodox teaching, the process of ordination begins with the local [[congregation]]; but the bishop alone, who acts in the name of the universal Church, can complete the action.
Those who are placed into the [[minor orders]] ([[subdeacon]], [[reader]], and in some traditions, [[cantor]]) are done so by '''''cheirothesia''''', which also means "laying on of hands," but has come to be a technically distinct term from '''''cheirotonia''''', which is used only for the major orders. According to the ''DEC'', ''cheirothesia'' is not regarded as part of the Holy Mystery of ordination (p. 117).
''Cheirotonia'' and ''cheirothesia'' formerly were used almost interchangeably, but came to acquire distinct meanings. Bishops are also referred to as being "consecrated" rather than "ordained," but such a distinction was not present in the early Church (''ODCC'', p. 1189)
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