Deacons are called to live a threefold ministry of service. This service can be summarized in the following way:
- Service to the Word of God: The deacon is called to be a man of deep prayer, becoming familiar with and a living witness to the Word of God in his ministry, among his family and in the workplace. He is to love, preach and teach the Sacred Scriptures from the pulpit and in his daily life. A deacon is also called to teach and catechize his fellow Catholics and help prepare those seeking to receive the sacraments, most especially adults seeking entry into the Catholic family of faith.
- Service to the Eucharist: Every deacon is called to serve the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood by his proper participation at the Liturgy, his love and reverence of the Blessed Sacrament and his willingness to bring the Eucharist to those who are sick and unable to join the community of faith in Sunday worship. By virtue of his ordination, a deacon may preside at a number of liturgical services, including the baptism of infants, witness marriages, conduct funeral services, lead Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and assist at the Eucharist. Each deacon must also cultivate a profound love and reverence for the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Such a Eucharistic spirituality is essential in the ministries described above.
- Service on behalf of Justice, Charity and Peace: Deacons serve as Christ’s heralds of hope and love to the poor, disabled, needy, lonely, young, forgotten and society’s outcasts. Through their living witness and service, they promote works of mercy, justice, reconciliation and peace. In this most important aspect of diaconal service, each deacon must strive to challenge fellow believers to address the social needs of the poor (i.e., materially and spiritually poor) and seek to meet them.